Although not as groundbreaking as the legislation signed last week opening the door for a statewide, publicly funded single-payer health system, two more healthcare bills in Vermont were signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin this morning—one dealing with hospice care (PDF) and another with the licensing and regulation (PDF) of advanced practice registered nurses.
Vt. governor signs bills on CME, nurse licenses
The hospice bill for the first time requires Vermont physicians to complete 10 hours of continuing medical education every two years.
According to the bill, Vermont is only one of six states that does not require CME as a condition of physician or healthcare professional license renewal. Originally, the bill called for four hours of CME specifically related to palliative care; it was opposed by the Vermont Medical Society on the grounds that the state shouldn't dictate the content of CME. The final law calls for 10 hours of general CME and will take effect for licenses expiring after Aug. 31, 2014. Vermont Medical Society spokesperson Justin Campfield said his organization supported the changes and worked with the Legislature to get the revisions into the final version of the bill.
The other bill amended an existing law defining the powers of professional disciplinary boards and includes provisions defining advanced practice registered nurse licensure requirements and grounds for revoking or suspending that license.
On May 18, Shumlin signed another healthcare bill requiring insurance companies to cover midwife services and home births.
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