DPS Begins to Synch Controlled Substance Permit Renewals

Following a three-month delay, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports it is beginning to synchronize physicians' controlled substances registration (CSR) expiration dates with their Texas Medical Board (TMB) license expiration dates.

On Jan. 1, renewal of CSR permits issued by DPS should have become part of physicians' biennial online medical license renewal with TMB. TMA helped pass House Bill 1803 by Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Katy) and Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) to ease the administrative hassle and red tape on physicians when they renew their CSR permits and to avoid interruptions in patient care and in physicians' practices due to inadvertent expirations.

TMB had completed the work necessary to implement HB 1803 by Jan. 1, including developing data-sharing capabilities that allow information to flow electronically to DPS for processing. In February, however, DPS said it wasn't prepared. 

Under the law, permits valid on Jan. 1, 2014, would automatically extend to the date of the physician's next state medical license renewal. At that time, the CSR permit would be valid for two years for a $50 fee. 

To ensure you do not experience disruption in your prescribing authority or place medical staff privileges at risk, DPS has posted the following information on its Controlled Substances Search and Verification System website for physicians with CSRs set to expire in April:

  • If your TMB license expiration date is May 31, 2014, or Aug. 31, 2014, CSRs have been automatically renewed to expire April 30, 2015. The next certificate you receive will be synchronized with your TMB license expiration date.
  • All remaining registrations scheduled to expire in April have been synchronized with the TMB expiration date. 
  • No action is required by the physician. Affected physicians will receive new CSR certificates in the mail. 
  • New CSR expirations have been updated on the Controlled Substances Search and Verification System website.

In the past, physicians have had problems when DPS didn't process renewals in a timely manner, before the CSR permit's expiration. When physicians are unable to renew their CSR permits, they can't prescribe medications. A physician's ability to prescribe medications hinges on possession of a valid CSR, which is necessary to obtain a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Just as critical, a physician whose CSR permit lapses faces (at least) temporary suspension of hospital privileges, as maintaining current certifications is a requirement to retain medical staff privileges in Texas

TMA has been meeting with DPS officials and TMB representatives to address concerns among physicians and to ensure DPS would be prepared to allow for the two-year permit and to synchronize the expiration of the CSR with the physician's medical license renewal date. 

Visit the Regulatory Services Division webpage for updates and additional information about synchronization of CSRs that expire in the future.

Action, April 15, 2014


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