If you're one of the 12,000 physicians whose state permit to prescribe controlled substances expires at the end of January, you'd better submit your renewal application now.
That's because the Department of Public Safety (DPS) has had trouble processing applications for the past year and the backlog has caused physicians a lot of trouble. As December's Texas Medicine will tell you, one West Texas emergency physician came within days of not being able to work because of DPS delays in processing his application. He finally received his new permit after TMA staff intervened on his behalf. DPS has been responsive in working with TMA to resolve renewal issues, but problems remain.
The December Texas Medicine also will tell you about TMA's plan to file a red-tape reduction bill in next year's legislative session to address this and other issues that plague physicians in their practices. TMA will urge the legislature to:
- Move the renewal from one year to two years,
- Run it concurrent with a physician's license renewal, and
- Start the renewal process with the Texas Medical Board.
TMA also wants DPS to automate the current paper-based renewal process and allow physicians to submit and pay for renewals online, similar to updating their medical licenses. A DPS spokesperson said the agency is examining that.
Action, Nov. 16, 2012