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Georgia Medical Board July Monthly Meeting Minutes Review

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imagesWelcome to the third installment of our business and healthcare law firm’s monthly medical board meeting review, focusing on the Georgia Composite Medical Board (“Medical Board” or “GCMB”).  As a healthcare law firm with physician clients, it is our duty to stay up to date with the Medical Board’s positions and changes so as to better inform our clients. If you have licensing or other GCMB questions or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

The Medical Board met on July 1, 2021 via video teleconference.  The July monthly meeting minutes are available here.  The Medical Board also publicly releases public orders and agreements each month.

Meeting Minutes

The Rules Committee reported the following rules for comments:

Rule 360-5-.02 “Qualifications for Physician Assistant Licensure”

Rule 360-5-.06 “Renewal of Physician Assistant License”

Rule 360-35-.01 “Definitions” (Lasers)

Rule 360-35-.05 “Practice”

The Physician Licensure Committee

The Committee approved five Petitions to Waive Rules.  Three petitions were to waive the rules in 360-2-.02 regarding passing all steps of the USMLE in seven years and only taking the USMLE a defined number of times.  We have seen the GCMB deny requests for waiver of 360-2-.02 when an applicant far-exceeded the seven-year requirement, so it is notable that the Board granted two petitions of that rule in the same meeting.  The remaining two petitioners were to waive the transcript requirements due to the applicants’ difficulty in obtaining copies of India-based transcripts due to COVID-19.

The Committee also addressed questions and requests.  Of note, the Committee stated: “The Board typically requires applicants to rectify issues with other State Medical Boards prior to submitting an application for a GA medical license.”  The Committee also made clear that “[t]he Board requires a license for teleradiology.”

The Committee also denied multiple applications “based on no clinical practice for more than 30 consecutive months.”  If you have concerns about a lapse in clinical practice, there are options (such as taking a clinical skills assessment) that we are happy to discuss with you.  The Board denied another license based on the applicant’s criminal conviction, which appears to have been for illegally prescribing painkillers in 2017.

The Nurse Protocol Advisory Committee clarified numerous questions for applicants, including:

  • Specifying that an APRN can practice telemedicine and “[t]he home where telemedicine will be practiced can be listed on the agreement.” As to the delegating physician, “[t]he physician must be practicing medicine in the state of Georgia or outside of the state within fifty miles of where the protocol agreement is being utilized.”
  • Providing that IV therapy rules and regulations “can be found on the Secretary of State website under hydration laws.” And clarifying that “[a]n NP must submit a protocol agreement to the Medical Board” to perform IV therapy.
  • Stating that a Family Practice Physician may delegate to a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner in a pediatric clinic because “the specialties are comparable.”
  • Clarifying, once again, that “[a]n NP cannot hire a physician who will be supervising them.” The question presented was “In case of APRN owned practices, will having the physician hired under a contract suffice?  Are there particular specifications or limitations to consider?”
  • Clarifying that it violates Georgia law for a physician to delegate to four full-time APRNs in Georgia and a few in other states, even if compliant with the rules in the other states.
  • Specifying that the delegating physician “must be practicing in Georgia” as opposed to just licensed in Georgia and practicing in another state.
  • Referring to the Attorney General’s Office the question of whether serving as a “back-up” delegating physician for an APRN counts towards the four-APRN limit.

The Physician Assistant Committee approved many APRN’s applications for additional duties, including for Botulinum Toxin Injection, Shoulder and Knee Joint Injection, Chest Tube placement, Micropigmentation of nipple/arealar complexes, and Moderate Sedation.

The Cosmetic Laser Advisory Committee, Respiratory Care Advisory Committee, Perfusion Advisory Committee, Acupuncture Advisory Committee, and Genetic Counselors Advisory Committee approved many licenses.

The Pain Management Clinic Committee approved many licenses and licenses for pain clinics.

Public Orders

The Board issued six public orders in June.  One order fined a physician $5,000 and required him to complete a prescribing controlled substances CMS because the physician failed to adhere to the terms of use of the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), specifically for allowing an excess number of staff to access the system at a time and for “a limited number of billing errors wherein patients’ billings were generated attached to the wrong medical provider.”  Another order disciplined a physician via public reprimand based on disciplinary action taken against the physician in a different state for “substandard care, gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, and failure to maintain adequate and accurate medical records.”

 

Our attorneys are experienced in advising medical providers on licensure and Medical Board matters, and we stay up to date on actions and directions taken by the Medical Board. We have many prior blog posts discussing the Medical Board, such as our introduction to the Georgia Composite Medical Board, Tips for Interviewing with Your State Licensing Board, and a post about the Medical Board’s requirement to report to the National Practitioner Data Bank.  If you have licensing or other GCMB questions or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

 

*Disclaimer: Thoughts shared here do not constitute legal advice.