- Pa. Child Abuse CME Required as of January 1, 2015
- Advance Directive/DNR Law Update
- Physician Change of Address and Email Reminder
- Physicians Must Identify D.O. Degree
- Reporting Patients as Unsafe Drivers to PENNDOT
Pa. Child Abuse CME Required as of January 1, 2015
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, in conjunction with the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), has announced new licensure requirements for all health-related licensees and funeral directors that are considered “mandatory reporters” under section 6311 of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) (23 P.S. § 6311).
Effective January 1, 2015, all persons applying for issuance of an initial license are required to complete three hours of DHS-approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of licensure.
Additionally, effective with license renewal after January 1, 2015, all health-related licensees and funeral directors applying for the renewal of a license issued by the board are required to complete at least two hours of board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of renewal.
Please note, Act 31 applies to all health-related licensees, regardless of whether they are subject to the continuing education requirements of the applicable board.
For more information related to child protection and mandated reporters, please visit the state’s
Keep Kids Safe PA website at http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/training/index.htm. A list of approved courses for child abuse recognition and training is also available at http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/cs/groups/webcontent/documents/document/c_124444.pdf.
Advance Directive/DNR Law Update
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania law, it is illegal for physicians to stop or withhold medical treatment unless a patient has an advance directive or do not resuscitate order. The patient must also meet several other criteria.
Under Pennsylvania law, it is assumed that an adult patient would want all medical treatment possible unless otherwise stated in a living will or health care power of attorney that allows another person to make decisions on the patient’s behalf. It is also assumed that a mentally competent patient has the right to make decisions on treatment and refuse those that would prolong dying.
Advance directives can only be honored when an adult patient has an end stage medical condition caused by illness or injury, or physicians have determined the adult patient is in an irreversible coma.
Physicians who do not feel they can honor the wishes of an adult patient as stated in a directive should transfer the case to a physician who can.
The law also states that medication may be administered to ease pain. The law does not condone mercy killing, euthanasia or assisted suicide.
For more information, please see the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website at www.health.state.pa.us.
Physician Change of Address and Email Reminder
Physicians are reminded that if they change their office address, they are required to report their new address to the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine within 10 days.
If you have an email address, or if your email address has recently changed, please forward it to the POMA Central Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physicians Must Identify D.O. Degree
Osteopathic physicians are reminded that under the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine’s rules and regulations, as found in the Pennsylvania Code §25.212, “(b) Advertising, letterhead, publications or transmissions shall designate or indicate the licensee’s school of medical practice by the term ‘D.O.,’ ‘doctor of osteopathy,’ ‘osteopathic physician’ or ‘osteopathic physician and surgeon.’” These provisions were issued under section 16 of the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act (63 P.S. §271.16); and section 902(b) of the Health Care Services Malpractice Act (40 P. S. §1301.902(b)). The provisions of §25.212 were adopted January 10, 1992, and became effective on January 11, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 209.
Reporting Unsafe Drivers to PennDOT
The POMA has received more information on an article that appeared in the June 2002 issue of the D.O. Magazine. The article stated that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) was requiring physicians to report their patients to the Bureau of Licensing when they were placed on medication that could impair their driving ability. According to PENNDOT, physicians only need to report patients if they have a mental disorder or a condition, such as seizures or diabetes, that, if left uncontrolled, could cause impairment to driving. PENNDOT requires physicians to report any of their patients that are not taking medication to control these disorders. They also strongly suggest reporting them even if they are on medication.