CHAPTER 89

 

An Act concerning continuing education for physicians and veterinarians, amending P.L.2001, c.307 and P.L.1952, c.198 and supplementing chapter 16 of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 10 of P.L.2001, c.307 (C.45:9-7.1) is amended to read as follows:

 

C.45:9-7.1  Continuing medical education required as condition for biennial registration.

     10. a. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection d. of this section, the State Board of Medical Examiners shall require each person licensed as a physician, as a condition for biennial registration pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1971, c.236 (C.45:9-6.1), or as a podiatrist, as a condition for biennial registration pursuant to R.S.45:5-9, to complete a requisite number of credits of continuing medical education, all of which shall be in Category I or Category II as defined in subsection i. of this section.

     b.    The board shall:

     (1)   Establish standards for continuing medical education, including the subject matter and content of courses of study;

     (2)   Accredit education programs offering credit toward continuing medical education requirements or recognize national or State organizations that may accredit education programs;

     (3)   Allow satisfaction of continuing medical education requirements through equivalent educational programs, such as participation in accredited graduate medical education programs, examinations, papers, publications, scientific presentations, teaching and research appointments and scientific exhibits, and establish procedures for the issuance of credit upon satisfactory proof of attainment of these equivalent educational programs;

     (4)   Create an advisory committee to be comprised of at least five members, including representatives of the Medical Society of New Jersey, the Academy of Medicine of New Jersey, the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, the New Jersey Podiatric Medical Society and such other professional societies and associations as the board may identify, to provide guidance to the board in discharging its responsibilities pursuant to this section; and

     (5)   Establish, through the promulgation of regulations, any specific courses or topics which, on the recommendation of the advisory committee created pursuant to paragraph (4) of this subsection and in the discretion of the board, are to be required, and designate which are the core requirements for continuing medical education, including the number of required hours, subject matter and content of courses of study.

     c.     Each hour of an educational course or program shall be equivalent to one credit of continuing medical education.

     d. (1) The board may, in its discretion, waive requirements for continuing medical education on an individual basis for reasons of hardship such as illness or disability, retirement of license, or other good cause.  A waiver shall apply only to the current biennial renewal period at the time of board issuance.

     (2)   The board may offset up to 10 percent of the requisite number of credits for continuing medical education biennially by the number of hours of volunteer medical services rendered by licensees, at the rate of one half of one credit of continuing medical education for each hour of volunteer medical service rendered, provided that such licensees shall be required to complete at least the core requirements established pursuant to paragraph (5) of subsection b. of this section.  The board may reduce, in part, an application by a licensee to offset credits of continuing medical education pursuant to this paragraph if the board finds, in its discretion, that the applicant requires such continuing medical education in order to maintain or restore professional competence, or may deny all such applications if the board finds that continuing medical education above the core requirements is necessary because of developments in science or technology.  The board may also, in its discretion, and for good cause, notify a licensee that the licensee is ineligible to offset credits of continuing medical education pursuant to this paragraph for any other reason established by regulation by the board.

     e.     The board shall not require completion of continuing medical education credits for any registration period commencing within 12 months of the effective date of this section.

     f.     The board shall require completion of medical education credits on a pro-rated basis for any registration period commencing more than 12 months but less than 24 months from the effective date of this section.

     g.     The board shall require new licensees to successfully complete, within 24 months of becoming licensed, an orientation course, in those topics identified by the board through regulation, conducted by an organization recognized by the board.

     h.     The board shall not require a new licensee to complete required continuing medical education credits, other than the orientation course described in subsection g. of this section, for any registration period commencing within 12 months of the licensee's participation in and completion of an accredited graduate medical education program.

     i.      As used in this section:

     "Category I and Category II" means those categories of medical education courses recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Podiatric Medical Association, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education or other comparable organizations recognized by the board;

     “Core requirements” means the continuing medical education determined by the board to be necessary to maintain currency in professional knowledge and skills in order to deliver competent care to patients; and

     “Volunteer medical services” means medical care provided without charge to low-income patients for health care services for which the patient is not covered by any public or private third party payer, in accordance with such standards, procedures, requirements and limitations as are established by the board.

 

     2.    Section 4 of P.L.1952, c.198 (C.45:16-9.4) is amended to read as follows:

 

C.45:16-9.4  Issuance of certificate of registration; renewal; suspension.

     4.    Every person licensed to practice veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry shall procure a certificate of registration which shall be issued upon the payment of a fee determined by the board for a two-year period.  A registrant not practicing in this State may apply for an inactive registration and shall pay a fee determined by the board.  An inactive registrant shall not practice veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry in this State.  The secretary shall mail to each person licensed to practice veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry at least 30 days prior to the deadline for registration a printed blank form to be properly filled in and returned to the secretary by such licensed person on or before the deadline for registration, together with such fee.  In addition to information about the registrant, the board shall require each licensee to provide the following information on the application or renewal application form: the name, address and telephone number of each veterinary facility in which the registrant will practice 500 or more hours per year; the type of practice; the legal organization of the practice and that entity's name, address and telephone number, if different from the facility address and telephone number; and the name of the principals for that entity.  Upon the receipt of the form properly filled in, and such fee, the certificate of registration shall be issued and transmitted.

     Except as otherwise provided in section 3 of P.L.2010, c.89 (C.45:16-9.4a), a registrant applying for active license renewal shall complete not less than the requisite number of hours of continuing veterinary education as determined by the board, of a type approved by the board, during each two-year license renewal period to be eligible for relicensure.  Prior to license renewal each licensee shall submit to the board proof of completion of the required number of hours of continuing education over the prior two-year period.  The board may, in its discretion, waive requirements for continuing education for an individual for reasons of hardship, such as illness or disability, retirement of the license or other good cause.

     The failure on the part of the licensee to renew his certificate as required shall not deprive such person of the right of renewal.  The fee to be paid if the certificate is renewed after the expiration date shall be determined by the board.  Notice to the licensee by mail on or before the deadline for registration, addressed to his last post-office address known to the board, informing him of his failure to have applied for a renewal of his license certificate, shall constitute legal notification of such delinquency by the board.

     Applications for renewal of certificates shall be in writing to the board, accompanied by the required fees.  The license of any person who fails to procure a renewal of certificate at the time and in the manner required by this section shall be suspended by the board upon notice.  Any license so suspended shall be reinstated at any time upon the payment of all past-due registration fees and an additional reinstatement fee determined by the board.  The board may require that any applicant for registration who has ceased the practice of veterinary medicine for a period in excess of three years be reexamined by the board and be required to complete additional continuing education requirements as a prerequisite to relicensure by the board.  Any person whose license shall have been suspended for such cause shall, during the period of such suspension, be regarded as an unlicensed person and, in case he shall continue or engage in the practice of veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry during such period, shall be liable to penalties pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1978, c.73 (C.45:1-14 et seq.).

     Every duly licensed person, before commencing the practice of veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry in this State, shall, within 30 days of the commencement of such practice, procure the certificate of registration required in this act.

     Every person practicing veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry in this State shall conspicuously display at all times his license and registration certificate for the effective two-year period in his main office.  Every person who practices veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry without having such certificate on display, as herein required, shall be liable to a penalty pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1978, c.73 (C.45:1-25).

     Every practitioner of veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry, licensed under the provisions of R.S.45:16-1 et seq., shall report to the board in writing any change in his place of practice, whether same be his main office or branch office, within 30 days of such change.

 

C.45:16-9.4a  Required courses, topics for continuing veterinary education.

     3. a. The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners shall establish, through the promulgation of regulations, any specific courses or topics which are to be required for continuing veterinary education, and designate which are the core requirements for continuing veterinary education, including the number of required hours, subject matter and content of courses of study.

     For purposes of this section, “core requirements” means the continuing veterinary education determined by the board to be necessary to maintain currency in professional knowledge and skills in order to deliver competent veterinary care.

     b.    The board may offset up to 10 percent of the requisite number of hours of continuing veterinary education required pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1952, c.198 (C.45:16-9.4) by the number of volunteer veterinary services rendered by licensees, at a rate of one half of one hour of continuing veterinary education for each hour of volunteer veterinary services, provided that a veterinarian shall be required to complete at least the core requirements established pursuant to subsection a. of this section.  In addition, the board may adopt a formula providing a minimum number of spaying or neutering procedures that shall be deemed the equivalent of one hour of continuing veterinary education.

     The board may reduce, in part, an application by a licensee to offset credits of continuing veterinary education pursuant to this subsection if the board finds, in its discretion, that the applicant requires continuing veterinary education in order to maintain or restore professional competence, or may deny all applications if the board finds that continuing veterinary education above the core requirements is necessary because of developments in science or technology. 

     The board may also, in its discretion and for good cause, notify a veterinarian that the veterinarian is ineligible to offset credits of continuing veterinary education pursuant to this subsection for any other reason established by regulation by the board.

     c.     As used in this section, “volunteer veterinary services” means veterinary care provided without charge to:

     (1)   a person eligible for, and participating in, at least one of the programs enumerated in section 3 of P.L.1983, c.172 (C.4:19A-2); or

     (2)   a shelter or pound licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services or a municipally approved managed cat colony, provided that the municipality or nonprofit group or organization managing the cat colony has attested in writing to the veterinarian that the cat to be spayed or neutered or otherwise treated by the veterinarian is feral or stray with no known owner.

 

C.45:45:9-7.1a  Rules, regulations.

     4.    The State Board of Medical Examiners, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), may adopt rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

C.45:16-9.4b  Rules, regulations.

     5.    The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), may adopt rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     6.    This act shall take effect on the 180th day after the enactment of this act, but the State Board of Medical Examiners and the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

     Approved November 30, 2010.