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New York Legislature Considers Changes to Licensing and Advertising Rules

The New York Assembly's Higher Education Committee is currently considering two bills which ASPS is preparing to comment on.

ASPS will call on the legislature to amend the first piece of legislation, Assembly Bill 5241, which implements changes to the re-registration process by mandating that physicians must complete at least 50 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) before being allowed to re-register.

Board certification or recertification of the physician by a "physician specialty organization," such as the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association's (AOA) equivalent, may be completed in lieu of compliance with the CME requirements during the cycle in which certification or recertification is granted.

While the ASPS agrees with the merits of this bill, the legislation would allow those certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties, a board that does not have the same high standards as the ABMS, to also be exempt from the required CME hours. ASPS will advocate amending this legislation to remove boards with lesser standards from the definition of "physician specialty organization."

Additionally, ASPS will support a piece of legislation that would implement stricter advertising requirements for all health care providers. Assembly Bill 7129 would enact the health care professional transparency act, which would prohibit health care professionals from using deceptive or misleading advertising.

The legislation would require health care advertisements to include the type of license held by the provider as well as stipulate that the advertisement be free from any and all deceptive or misleading statements. Additionally, the legislation requires providers to wear photo identification during all patient encounters and display a document in his or her office that clearly identifies the type of license held by the provider.

As it is currently written, the legislation also would reserve the right to advertise as "board certified" to those who are certified by a member board of the ABMS or AOA. There have been reports that the provision related to board certification will be removed and held for consideration in subsequent years.

ASPS continues to advocate for truthful advertising practices and, if the provision related to board certification is removed, will seek to implement it in future legislative sessions.