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27 Sep 2012

Important Information for Physicians Licensed in Kentucky

Community, Kentucky, Physician Licensing, Technology 1 Comment

Recent legislation in Kentucky requires all physicians licensed in Kentucky authorized to prescribe or dispense controlled substances to register with the eKASPER system. This includes physicians who are licensed in Kentucky and practicing out of state. Failure to register may result in action against a physician’s license. Registration is free & available at http://chfs.ky.gov/os/oig/KASPER.htm..
The following information has been provided by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure regarding KASPER and clarifications about the HB 1 legislation in response to misinformation that has been provided to physicians.
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KASPER: Mandatory Registration
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The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure would like to advise all Kentucky physicians that HB 1 became effective on July 20, 2012.  This legislation requires Kentucky licensed physicians, who are authorized to prescribe or dispense controlled substances in the Commonwealth, to register with the enhanced Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (eKASPER) system.  While the majority of Kentucky physicians have already registered with KASPER, there are still many physicians who have not done so.
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The Board would like to remind all physicians licensed in Kentucky that if you have a DEA number, you need to register for a KASPER account. The Board notes there has been confusion on this requirement for physicians practicing out of state; however, it would like to clarify that physicians practicing out of state with a Kentucky license and a DEA registration do need to register for a KASPER account.
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It is important to point out that according to 201 KAR 9:230E, failure to register for KASPER may result in action against a physician’s license.  A copy of 201 KAR 9:230E is available on the Board’s website for review.
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If you have not registered for your KASPER account, please do so immediately. Information regarding KASPER registration can be found at http://chfs.ky.gov/os/oig/KASPER.htm.  Please note that KASPER registration is free and it is the law.
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An eKASPER web tutorial is available on the KASPER website, and provides information and guidelines to help make your use of eKASPER easier and more effective.   If you are unsure if you have an eKASPER account or have questions, please call the eKASPER helpdesk at (502) 564-2703 or eKASPERhelp@ky.gov. Please note if you already have an existing KASPER account, you do not have to re-register for a new one.
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About HB 1 Legislation
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The Kentucky medical board notes that doctors are being provided incorrect, misleading and/or confusing information about HB 1 and the specific regulations relating to licensing. If you rely upon information about or characterization of HB 1 or the related regulations provided by others, you do so at your own risk and may be relying upon incorrect, incomplete or confusing information in your practice. Therefore, it is essential and the Board strongly encourages each licensed physician to go to the Board’s website at http://www.kbml.ky.gov and read the actual language of HB 1 and the following regulations, which may directly affect your practice of medicine or osteopathy and possibly your license to practice:
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  • 201 KAR 9:001    Definitions for terms used in KRS 218A.172
  • 201 KAR 9:220    Restriction Upon Dispensing of Schedule II Controlled Substances and Schedule III Controlled Substances with Hydrocodone
  • 201 KAR 9:230    Required KASPER Registration
  • 201 KAR 9:250    Registration and Oversight of Pain Management Facilities
  • 201 KAR 9:260    Professional Standards for Prescribing and Dispensing Controlled Substances
  • 201 KAR 9:310    Continuing Medical Education

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Please also note clarifications for the following issues:
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#1: Criminal Penalty in HB 1 only applies to Pain Management Facilities
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It appears that physicians have been told that they will be subject to criminal prosecution for a Class D felony or a Class A misdemeanor if they do not comply with each professional standard set out in HB 1 or related regulations.
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This is incorrect.
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There is only one new criminal provision in HB 1.  That provision only applies to violations of the statutory requirements for pain management facilities.  Those requirements relate to:
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a) The requirements and qualifications for ownership or investment interest in the facility; and,
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b)  The requirements and qualifications for physician presence in the facility for at least 50% of the time.
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The Board conferred with the Attorney General’s Office on this issue.  HB 1 (218A.172) does not create any new criminal offense relating to prescribing or dispensing controlled substances.  The standards for initiating a criminal prosecution for prescribing or dispensing controlled substances are the same as they were before the passage of HB 1. Physicians who are legitimately prescribing or dispensing controlled substances should not be concerned about criminal liability simply because the professional standards have been placed in statute or regulation.
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#2: You Don’t Have to Start from Scratch
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There has been some concern that the passage of HB 1 and the enactment of the Board’s regulations means that each physician must “go back” and meet all of the standards set out in these documents for every patient receiving controlled substances.
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This is incorrect.
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You must consider where each patient is in the treatment process and use the standards that apply to a patient at that stage:
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  • If you are prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance to the patient for the first time for a medical complaint and related symptoms, you must meet the standards of HB 1 and the Board’s regulation
  • If your prescribing for the patient for a medical complaint and related symptoms is going to exceed 3 months, after the July 20, 2012, you must meet the standards set out in the Board’s regulation.
  • If you are continuing to prescribe controlled substances to a patient who had been receiving controlled substances for the medical complaint and related symptoms as of July 20, 2012, you must meet the standards set out in the Board’s regulation for long-term prescribing.
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NOTE:  If you have been prescribing controlled substances to a patient for longer than 3 months, you are NOT required by the regulation to “go back” and meet all of the standards for continuing prescribing beyond 3 months.  You may, if you determine it is professionally appropriate, but are not required by the regulation to do so.  You simply have to comply with the standards for long-term prescribing from July 20, 2012 forward.
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For more information on KASPER & HB 1 regulation, please visit the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure website at:
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http://www.kbml.ky.gov

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