Description of Strategy
Numerous states require continuing medical education (CME) for providers that prescribe opioids. Requiring continued medical education helps medical professions maintain competency in regards to prescribing opioids, including safe prescribing practices, pain management, and opioid use disorders. In addition, it helps them learn about new areas of their medical specialty, as it relates to controlled substances.
According to Wyoming Senate File 0047, enacted during the 2019 general session, boards of health care professionals (e.g. the Wyoming State Board of Medicine) will require the following when renewing a medical license: “for licensees who have prescriptive authority the board shall require three (3) hours of continuing education related to the responsible prescribing of controlled substances or treatment of substance abuse disorders every two (2) years.”
Discussion of Effectiveness
As Marinopoulos et al. (2007, p. 57) point out, “most of the studies reviewed suggest that CME is effective, at least to some degree, in not only achieving, but also in maintaining the objectives studied.” In addition, there have been several systematic reviews that suggest CME can be an effective method for both improving physician performance and patient health outcomes (Cervero & Gaines, 2014). However, while CME is effective generally speaking, there has yet to be evidence that it is an effective measure of preventing opioid abuse and misuse.
Cervero, R. M. & Gaines, J. K. (2014). Effectiveness of continuing medical education: Updated synthesis of systemic reviews. Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.
Marinopoulos, S. S., Dorman, T., Ratanawongsa, N., Wilson, L. M., Ashar, B. H., Magaziner, J. L., Miller, R. G., Thomas, P. A., Prokopowicz, G. P., Qayyum, R., & Bass, E. B. (2007). Effectiveness of continuing medical education. Evidence Reports/Technology Assessment, (149), 1–69.