Coming Jan. 1: New Requirement for Physician Licensure

Starting Jan. 1, every physician applying to renew or obtain a new Massachusetts license must complete at least three credits of education and training in pain management and opioid education.

According to state regulations, such education includes “but is not limited to, training in how to identify patients at high risk for substance abuse and training in how to counsel patients on the side effects, addictive nature and proper storage and disposal of prescription medicines. These hours may be included among the required 10 hours of risk management credits.”  The requirement was outlined in state legislation passed during the summer of 2010.

Several online CME activities fulfill this requirement. The MMS offers an online program, Managing Risk When Prescribing Narcotic Painkillers for Patients, for one credit. It meets the criteria of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study. The Boston University School of Medicine also offers a three-credit online course, Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain.

Visit the MMS website for complete information on CME requirements for Massachusetts licensure.

Future CME Requirements
In 2014, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will require applicants for new and renewed licenses to complete training in end of life care. In 2015, such applicants must also certify their competence in the use of electronic health records.

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