Complete Rewrite of the Board of Registration in Medicine’s Regulations is Underway

The state Board of Registration in Medicine has released a draft copy of newly revised proposed regulations governing licensing and the practice of medicine.

The new proposals come in three sections of 11, 66 and 23 pages respectively, and deal with discipline, licensing and the practice of medicine, and patient care assessment programs.

Hearings are likely in September. The MMS is still reviewing the regulations but it is clear that every aspect of the Board’s processes is included in the rewrite.

  • The regulations specify mandatory CME requirements in pain management, competence in electronic medical records and end of life care. The first two of these were required in some form by the state legislature.
  • License categories now include: retired, inactive, volunteer, administrative, restricted, full, limited and temporary.
  • Health care facilities are defined as anywhere medicine is practiced.
  • The definition of the practice of medicine now includes telemedicine when the patient information is generated in the Commonwealth.
  • A new process for CMEs is created by using the term continued professional development or CPDs instead. The Board gives itself the authority to approve activities, courses etc which may qualify for mandatory CPD hours.
  • Specifics on compliance with audits for continuing education requirements are listed.
  • Specifics on allowable corporate forms for the practice of medicine are included on page 43 of section 2.
  • Provisions are outlined for renewals of licensure without automatic revocation in limited circumstances where a renewal application is not complete.

Over the last decade, the Board has periodically reopened the regulatory hearing process but never completed a comprehensive rewrite and update. Previous proposed changes brought a fire storm of opposition and criticism from the medical community based primarily on concerns that the Board was overreaching its authority and poorly designing its regulatory framework in a variety of areas.

The Board’s regulatory structures are enormously complex and complicated by legal decisions and precedents. The MMS will continue to review the complex proposals with an eye towards our testimony and advocacy in the Fall. Comments on the proposals or specific questions may be sent to William Ryder, MMS Director of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, at wryder@mms.org.

— William Ryder

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