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State laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

1. How many hours of Continuing Medical Education are required each year?

Physicians are required to complete 24 hours of continuing medical education every 12 months. At least 12 hours every 12 months, including 1 hour of ethics and/or professional responsibility education, must be completed through participation in formal CME activities, but all 24 hours may be completed in this category. This includes conferences, seminars, lecture presentations, grand rounds, case conferences, self-study courses, etc. which are formally designated for credit as: Category 1 of the Physician's Recognition Award of the American Medical Association; prescribed credit of the American Academy of Family Physicians; or Category 1A and 2B credit of the American Osteopathic Association.

Physicians may complete up to 12 hours of the required 24 hours by participating in informal CME activities such as conferences, seminars, grand rounds, self-instructional materials, reading clinically relevant medical journals, participation in patient care review activities, research/preparation time for medical presentations, up to 10 hours for publication of a medical article and up to 6 hours for volunteer services at a site serving medically underserved populations.

Yes. Excess formal or informal hours earned in one 12-month period may be applied toward the next year's requirements. A maximum of 48 excess credit hours may be carried forward and these hours must be applied within two years following the date of the registration period during which they were earned. A licensee under a two-year license period may apply up to 24 CME hours retroactively to the preceding year's annual requirement. These hours may be counted only toward one registration period.

3. How will the Texas Medical Board know whether a physician has completed the necessary hours of CME?

Documentation of attendance at formal CME activities can be obtained from the provider of the activity in the form of a CME reporting form, attendance, certificate, CME transcript or letter of verification of attendance.

Documentation to verify attendance should not be submitted to the Texas Medical Board with the application for registration. Documentation, however, should be retained by the physician for reference in reporting hours completed and in the event that verification is requested by the board in a random audit of compliance.

4. Are there any exemptions for CME?

Exemptions are subject to the approval of the executive director of the Texas Medical Board and must be requested in writing at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of the license. An exemption may be requested for the following reasons:

5. What is the penalty for not completing CME requirements?

Failure to obtain and report 24 hours of CME every 12 months at the time of license renewal will result in nonrenewal of the license until the physician obtains and reports the required CME hours. However, the executive director of the board may issue a temporary license for a period of up to 90 days to the physician who has not complied with the CME requirement. Note that this 90 day extension through the temporary license is at the discretion of the executive director and is not an automatic grace period. The temporary license not only allows the board time to verify the accuracy of information related to the physician's CME hours, but also allows the physician an opportunity to correct any deficiency so as not to terminate ongoing patient care. Any CME hours obtained after a physician's renewal date for the purpose of satisfying the CME requirement for the preceding year's licensure renewal, if above and beyond the 24 hours necessary for renewal, may be used to meet the CME requirement for the current year.

Failure to comply with the CME requirement for renewal of a license invokes the monetary penalty for late registration and may invoke Administrative Penalties as determined by the Disciplinary Process Review Committee of the board. A false report or statement to the board regarding CME hours is basis for disciplinary action by the board.

Texas Medical Association, Summary of Texas Medical Board Rules for Reporting CME Activities for Registration of the Medical License

Copyright Kern Augustine Conroy and Schoppmann, P.C. Used with permission.

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