State Board of Medical Examiners

Recent Law/Rule Changes Related to Prescriptions and PMP

The Board would like to make all practitioners authorized to prescribe controlled substances aware of recent  changes to the classifications of certain controlled substances and changes in the rules regarding access to the PMP.


1. Effective August 1, 2014, La. Rev. Stat. §40:964 D.(b) was amended to classify Soma as a Schedule II CDS in LA.

2. Effective Aug 18, 2014, the DEA has classified Tramadol as a SCH IV, CDS.

3. In August 2013, prescribers were authorized by La. Rev. Stat §40:1007.E.(1) to select delegates to access the PMP, as defined by rule, (emphasis added.)  The rules are now effective as of June 20, 2014. 


Perfusionists Rules

The Board has submitted a final report to the Louisiana Legislature in connection with the proposed adoption of administrative Rules governing General, Licensure and Certification, and practice of Perfusionists, LAC 46:XLV .251-255, .2701-2751, .5801-5811, which appeared in February 20, 2014 edition of the Louisiana Register.

The use of Telemedicine Technologies with Established Patient

The use of Telemedicine Technologies with Established Patients. In recent months, the Board has received inquiries from Louisiana licensed physicians engaged in the practice of medicine within this state who would like to use telemedicine technologies to communicate with patients who have been seen in their office between regularly schedule office visits but are unable to do so in strict compliance with the Board’s Telemedicine Rules.[1]  Because these communications typically take place when the patient is at home, a licensed health care provider is not present in the room with the patient to assist with the interaction.[2]


The Board recognizes that telemedicine technologies are rapidly advancing and continue to provide opportunities for improving the delivery and accessibility of quality healthcare to patients in this state.  In an office practice particularly, telemedicine technologies can enhance medical care by facilitating communication between physicians and their patients as they monitor chronic conditions, assess responses to new medications or therapies, review and discuss the results of diagnostic studies or consultations, or provide health care information to clarify medical advice.  In the Board’s view, physician use of telemedicine technologies in this manner is wholly consistent with the manner that physicians have typically utilized telephone or email to follow-up with their established patients. 


In consideration of the above, and in line with our on-going desire to facilitate the use of telemedicine technologies in the delivery of medical care, the Board wishes to advise physicians that the use of telemedicine technologies[3] to communicate with established patients between regularly schedule office visits will not, for purposes of enforcement, be considered telemedicine provided the following conditions are observed: (i) such interactions may only be used with an established patient (e.g., those with whom there has been a face-to-face office visit); (ii) the patient’s medical record is available to the physician; (iii) such interactions would not be used to address any condition that would require a physical examination; (iv) the patient maintains the option of being seen by the physician if the patient or physician believes that the complaints warrant a face-to-face interaction and/or physical examination; and (v) such interactions shall not be used to prescribe controlled substances.


In due course, the Board plans to undertake a rule-making effort to amend its Telemedicine Rules consistent with this advice.


Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners

[1]LAC 46:XLV.7501-7521.

[2]As with the law, the Board’s rules require that ‘A licensed health care professional who can adequately and accurately assist with the requirements of §§7509 and 7511 of this Chapter shall be in the examination room with the patient at all times that the patient is receiving telemedicine services.’ La. Rev. Stat. §37:1271B(2); LAC 46:XLV.7407B.

[3]The Board reminds physicians of their obligation to insure that all patient-physician interactions are conducted in a manner that is consistent with state and federal requirements governing patient privacy and security.


PT Dry Needling

PT Dry Needling.  The Board has recently received inquiries and complaints from physicians in this state concerning the appropriateness of physical therapists (PTs) performing dry needling on their patients.  Some have advised that this procedure was performed without the referring physician’s knowledge or direction and in one instance the physician reported that due to the patient’s condition dry needling was contraindicated.  The question has also been raised as to whether the referring physician could bear some liability in the event of a complication.


Given that dry needling is a form of “treatment” it must be preceded by a prescription or referral of a physician or other authorized provider.[1]  In our on-going discussions with the Louisiana Physical Therapy Board, and our consideration of this issue generally, it has become apparent that PTs believe that they are authorize to perform this procedure under a general order of a physician to “evaluate and treat.” 


In the Board’s view, dry needling constitutes the practice of medicine and should only be performed by a physician or an acupuncturist’s assistant.  While the Board is considering how this issue might best be addressed, we take this opportunity to alert physicians that unless specifically excluded from a physical therapy referral, it is possible that dry needling may be performed on your patient.  Therefore, if you do not intend to authorize dry needling on a patient for whom you prescribe physical therapy services you will need to specifically exclude it from your referral.


Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners


[1]La. Rev. Stat.§37:2418B.



Licensure and Certification; Reciprocity

The Board has submitted a final report to the Louisiana Legislature in connection with the proposed adoption of an amendment to its rules governing Qualifications for Medical Licensure by Reciprocity (LAC 46:XLV.353D), which appeared in the August 20, 2013 edition of the Louisiana Register.

Polysomnographic Technologists and Technicians

The Board has submitted a final report to the Louisiana Legislature in connection with the proposed adoption of rules licensure and certification and practice of polysomnographic technologists and technicians  (LAC 46:XLV.241-245, 3301-3355, 6301-6313), which appeared in the September 20, 2013 edition of the Louisiana Register.