Massachusetts Medical Society: Testimony in Opposition to S 1185 An Act Relative to Health Care Providers and First Responders Education

Testimony in Opposition to S 1185 An Act Relative to Health Care Providers and First Responders Education

Before the Joint Committee on Public Health

The MMS is strongly opposed to provisions in this refiled legislation that would prohibit initial licensing or license renewal for any health care provider “unless the health care provider has demonstrated that he or she has received appropriate training and continuing education on HIV/AIDS counseling and testing, the diagnosis and treatment of HIV disease, and infection control and universal precautions.” 

All physicians are mandated to take 100 hours of continuing medical education every license renewal. The legislature and regulatory agencies have passed many requirements dictating specific areas of study that are required. Recently the legislature passed three new educational mandates as a condition of licensure for physicians and in some cases other providers as well. All physicians, regardless of specialty or practice area, must demonstrate proficiency with electronic medical records or lose their licenses. All physicians must take a course in opioid addiction, prescription and treatment. All physicians must take a course in end of life options. Additional training requirements include domestic violence and child abuse. 

All of these issues are worthy of sincere attention from the medical community and are the subject of extensive continuing medical education opportunities. The MMS has supported efforts in all of these areas. However, not every physician needs or would benefit from these courses. It is not clear that these legislative mandates are an efficient and meaningful approach to clinical improvement. Can we afford to revoke the licenses of physicians and other providers who inadvertently miss one of these requirements? 

The MMS urges the legislature not to continue to add disease specific educational conditions for licensure.

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