Georgia Medical Board leader addresses key issues on ‘Top Docs Radio’  

Georgia Composite Medical Board Chair Dan Deloach, M.D., addresses the role of the Composite Board and the state’s new opioid prescribing requirements – including the need to take certain CME and registering with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) – and other important issues on the latest episode of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show. 

“The mission of the Composite Board is to protect the public,” explains Dr. Deloach. “We investigate complaints, and we discipline health care providers who violate The Medical Practice Act or other laws governing the professional behavior of the state’s licensees.”

The Composite Board can take a number of actions, including letters of concern, public reprimands, probation, suspension, and revoking licenses. It licenses physicians, physician assistants, respiratory care professionals, perfusionists, acupuncturists, orthotists, prosthetists, auricular (ear) detoxification specialists, residency training permits, cosmetic laser practitioners, and pain management clinics. 

Dr. Deloach reports that one of the issues that the Composite Board is focused on today is opioid prescribing. It recently adopted Rule 360-15-.01(3), which requires physicians (not resident physicians) who have an active DEA certificate and prescribe controlled substances to complete at least three hours of AMA/AOA PRA Category 1 CME that is designed specifically to address controlled substance prescribing practices. This rule went into effect on January 1, 2018 or the first time a prescribing physician renews their license following their initial licensure. 

Dr. Deloach emphasizes that, “Any controlled substances prescribing guidelines coursework that a physician has taken since their license ‘last expired’ will count toward this requirement, and the completion of this requirement may count as three hours toward the CME requirement for one’s license renewal.”

In a related development, the Composite Board has also been encouraging physicians and others to register with the state’s PDMP – an electronic database that’s used to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. 

Dr. Deloach notes that, “The PDMP can help eliminate duplicative prescribing and overprescribing of controlled substances because it provides prescribers and pharmacists with critical information regarding a patient’s prescription history.”

He adds that, “Every applicable health care provider who has a DEA number must register with the PDMP, which includes physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, licensed pharmacist delegates, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, nurses with prescriptive authority, medical residents, and interns with prescriptive authority.” 

Dr. Deloach also emphasizes that, “The Composite Board encourages physicians who are struggling with any kind of substance abuse or wellness issues to reach out to the Georgia Physician Health Program – which provides confidential treatment – before they become subjected to the Composite Board’s disciplinary process.”

Dr. Deloach served as MAG’s president in 2011-2012.

MAG sponsors two ‘Top Docs Radio’ episodes per month. Between downloads and live listeners, the program has reached nearly 170,000 listeners – which includes people in all 50 states and more than 80 countries.  

MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ show is supported with a grant from Health Care Research, a subsidiary of Alliant Health Solutions.  

Click for Georgia Composite Medical Board website

Click for Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program website

Click for Georgia Physician Health Program website