Welcome to the first installment of our business and healthcare law firm’s monthly medical board meeting review, focusing on the Georgia Composite Medical Board (“GCMB” or “Medical Board”). As a healthcare law firm with many 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. We hope that by providing a review of the Medical Board’s monthly meeting minutes, our readers and provider clients will be able to better navigate the Medical Board successfully. 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, email@example.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
The Medical Board meets once a month to uphold its directives under the Medical Practice Act, which allow the Medical Board to do, among other things, the following: review applications for licensure, interview applicants when necessary or requested, investigate complaints, discuss proposed rules and rule modifications, review and publish public orders, and allow for committee meetings.
- May Meeting
The Medical Board met on May 6, 2021 via video teleconference. The May monthly meeting minutes are available here. The Medical Board also publicly releases public orders and agreements each month.
- Important Actions Taken by the Medical Board in May
- Meeting Minutes
At the outset, the executive director updated the Board that she has had difficulties in hiring staff since the pandemic and is currently not fully staffed but hopes to be soon. This is useful information for any provider or attorney working with the Board—delays should be anticipated!
The Wisconsin Board of Medicine also submitted an interesting inquiry to the Medical Board requesting the Medical Board’s position on whether “‘Functional Medicine’ (including, but not limited to, Platelet Rich Plasma injections and Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement therapy)” “is within the scope of acceptable practice of medicine and surgery and within the standard of care of such practice.” The Medical Board responded that it “has not had any issues with this practice.”
The Physician Licensure Committee approved two petitions to waive rules. Both granted petitions were for waivers of Rule 360-2-.01 because the physicians were unable to obtain their official transcripts. The Board approved both petitions upon the reasoning that the board was able to receive the transcripts from other sources. The Committee denied one petition for waiver of Rule 360-2-.01, which requires the Physician to pass all steps of the USMLE. The petitioner asked the board to waive that requirement and, instead, accept the petitioner’s medical school’s comprehensive exams. The Board denied this request and stated that the petitioner “must take and pass an examination for licensure [and] can’t substitute education or training.”
The Physician Assistant Committee approved many APRN’s applications for additional duties, including for stress tests, pellets, shoulder injections, chemical peels, Dermal Filler Injections, etc. The Committee also proposed an updated FAQ regarding the 240 Shadowing Hours requirement.
The Cosmetic Laser Advisory Committee addressed questions regarding micro-needling by estheticians or cosmetologists and questions regarding which practitioners can perform ablative laser procedures.
The Respiratory Care Advisory Committee addressed a question regarding scope of practice for RTTs and transport RRTs. In response to a separate question about hiring an RT prior to graduation, the Committee cited to Rule 360-13-.12(2)(h).
The Acupuncture Advisory Committee “determined that an acupuncture licensee may see and treat patients in their home provided the licensee’s insurance carrier approves and that local statutes regarding residential areas are followed.”
- Public Orders
The Board issued six public orders in May. The Medical Board shows an inclination to discipline and reprimand medical professionals in specific situations rather than terminating their licensure. For instance, in one Order, the Board allowed a physician to retain her license even though she departed from the minimum standards of acceptable conduct regarding narcotic reimbursement procedures on the terms that the physician shall not prescribe Schedule II and III controlled substances until the Physician has completed a prescribing narcotics course and paid a $5,000 fine. In another instance, the order publicly disciplined a physician assistant who violated prescribing rules by fining her $500.
- Future Meetings
The June and July meetings have already occurred. The next meeting will be held on August 5th.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
*Disclaimer: Thoughts shared here do not constitute legal advice.