Filing rules with the Common Sense Initiative, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) continues its efforts to mandate content-specific continuing medical education (CME) on duty to report as a condition of licensure. The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) strongly objects to mandating content-specific CME as a condition of licensure and has submitted opposing comments to both the SMBO and the Common Sense Initiative.
The SMBO has already instituted OAFP’s earlier suggestion that a licensee verify duty to report responsibilities by checking a box on their license application/renewal. In addition, OAFP reprinted an article on duty to report in the June 2020 issue of The Ohio Family Physician magazine, and continues to feel that educating licensees can be accomplished successfully without mandating content-specific CME. Mandating CME on duty to report is unnecessary and opens the floodgates for CME requirements on hot button topics that often diminish in urgency over time. It is a mistake to go down this path and we object to the rule language as drafted.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians has a long-standing policy of opposing the mandate of content specific CME as a condition of licensure. Physicians are professionals who should have the ability to choose what CME they need to provide appropriate care within their unique practice setting for their patients.
With the State Medical Board’s recent support of the reduction of CME for licensure of MDs, DOs, and DPMs, this ability to select pertinent and appropriate CME for the individual licensee’s practice and patient population is even more important. Given the scope of topics on which physicians need to stay current, mandating the completion of one hour of CME every two years on this single issue seems excessive. We certainly agree that it is vitally important that licensees understand and abide by the licensee’s duty to report misconduct provisions of the law, but think that devoting one hour out of the required 50 every two years is extreme. Could not the same goal be accomplished by a statement on the licensure application reiterating the licensee’s duty to report misconduct with a checkbox that the licensee must check verifying that they have read and understand (to be completed every licensing cycle)?
Over the years, content specific CME as a condition of licensure has been proposed many, many times on a variety of hot button topics. Topics tend to address a current issue that may diminish in urgency over time or is adequately addressed in other ways. If all of these topics were mandated, physicians would be locked into very specific areas of learning which address a hot topic at the time but may or may not be beneficial to them and their practice long-term or even immediately. Yes, physicians need to understand and follow the duty to report misconduct provisions of section 4731.224 of the Ohio Revised Code, but we question whether mandating one hour of CME on this topic every two years is the best way to ensure understanding and compliance now and into the future.