CME Requirements for License Renewal

In 2011, the legislature first enacted a law requiring Vermont-licensed physicians report their CME to the Vermont Board of Medical Practice biannually at the time of their license renewal. See 26 VSA § 1400.
 
The Vermont Board of Medical Practice’s rules implementing the law require physicians to take 30 hours of AMA Physicians Recognition Award Category 1 Credit (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™) during the period December 1 - November 30 each two-year licensing period (e.g. Dec. 1, 2014- Nov. 30, 2016; Dec. 1, 2016-Nov. 30, 2018).  There are some exceptions to the 30-hour requirement for new licensees and active or deployed members of the military – see the Board rules for details.  Physicians must certify to the Board that the required hours have been completed over the past two years when submitting their renewal application. Physicians are not required to submit verification to the Board of CME courses completed, but must retain documentation of the courses for four years from the time the physician certifies the courses have been completed.  The CME chosen should be designed to ensure that the licensee has updated his or her knowledge in his own field and kept abreast of advances in other fields for which patient referrals may be appropriate.  
 
Of the 30 hours, the Board’s rules also require physician to take two content-specific CME courses: 1 hour addressing palliative care, hospice care OR pain management AND 1 hour addressing prescribing controlled substances for physicians with DEA registrations.  These two subject-specific activities count toward the 30-hour requirement.  Due to the passage of Act 173, beginning with license renewals due Nov. 2018, all physicians with a DEA number, pending application for a DEA number, or who dispense controlled substances will be required to show they have completed a total of at least 2 hours over the course of the previous 2-year licensing cycle - rather than the current one hour - of continuing education on the topic of prescribing controlled substances.  Physicians can request that the VBMP pre-approve courses as satisfying the content-specific requirements if they wish, but pre-approval is not required.
 
Licensees who have not completed the CME requirement may file a make-up plan along with their license renewal application. 
 
Links to the Board’s CME Rules and frequently asked questions can be found here
For a list of free and low-cost CME courses available, click here.
If requested, VMS will also serve as a repository for members’ CME courses – see this form.

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