Resources & Information

Jul 1 2015

It’s time to get your licensee information page ready for visitors

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The NCMB maintains the state’s largest and most comprehensive database of information about licensed physicians and physician assistants. This information, accessed via the Board’s website, is the most used resource on the NCMB’s website, with about 3,000 “hits” each business day. In a given year, the Board’s Licensee Information pages, which provide comprehensive information about every physician and physician assistant licensed by the Board, receive more than three-quarters of a million visits. Soon, that number may be even larger.

Over the next few months, the NCMB will launch an online public outreach campaign promoting the Board’s Look Up a Licensee tool. This goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of the Board and its mission, and position the NCMB as the state’s definitive source of information about licensed physicians and PAs.

For licensees, that means now is the time to make sure their licensee information is accurate and complete. This article will briefly review all types of licensee required to be reported to the Board under NCGS 90-5.2-5.3, as well as the numerous categories of optional information that provide additional useful information to patients and other users.

Non-Adverse Required Information
There are 12 types of required information, including non-adverse and adverse categories, required under NCGS 90-5.2, 5.3 All licensed physicians and PAs must report information in these categories, if any exists.
    1. Address and telephone number of the primary practice setting: Licensees have the opportunity to review and, if needed, update this information as part of the online annual license renewal process. Even so, keeping addresses and phone numbers up to date is a constant challenge (as evidenced by the volume of returned mail received by the Board). Licensees may update their address and phone information at any time by logging in to the Licensee Information portal on the NCMB’s website.

    2. Area(s) of practice: This information is meant to describe the licensee’s current primary clinical activities. Often, though not always, area of practice matches the licensee’s area of specialty training. Licensees should make sure to designate a primary area of practice. Failure to designate a primary area of practice may result in the licensee’s exclusion from certain searches and reports, making it difficult or impossible for Web visitors to access their information. Tip: Be discriminating when selecting areas of practice. This category is intended to capture the licensee’s main areas of clinical interest, not to list every possible area in which he or she is competent to practice. Example: Primary area of practice: Anesthesiology; All areas of practice: Anesthesiology, Pain medicine

    3. Hospital privileges (within NC): If held, privileges should be noted by facility name. Don’t forget to promptly remove facilities if hospitals are relinquished or lost.

    4. Medical, osteopathic or physician assistant schools/programs attended and graduation dates: The Board pulls this from license application information on file. A brief check to verify the accuracy of the educational institution and graduation date is all that is required of the licensee.

    5. Graduate medical or osteopathic training (residency) programs attended and completion dates: When the Board initially launched expanded licensee information pages in December 2009, the scope of information captured about postgraduate training did not include area of training, though it was later added. Look over your training information and make sure each institution attended, area of training completed and training completion dates is accurate.

    6. Board certifications: Initially, the NCMB recognized and posted only certifications conferred by boards approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties, Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists of the American Osteopathic Association or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The Board’s current policy allows for boards not affiliated with these organizations to be posted provided they meet certain criteria. These criteria are listed in the Board’s Position Statement on

    7. Medical licenses, active or inactive, granted by another state or country: The Board does not currently distinguish between active or inactive out of state or out of country licensees. As with all other types of required information, it is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure that this information is updated as new licensees are obtained. According to the most recent national physician census data, more than 20 percent of doctors are licensed in more than one state, and the number is growing as practice patterns change with theadvent of new technologies and telemedicine models.


Adverse Required Information
The vast majority of licensees do not have any information to report in any of the following adverse categories. The NCMB estimates that approximately 6 percent of licensees have reportable information in one or more of the following categories.
    1. Final suspensions or revocations of hospital privileges Only final actions are posted; matters that are pending appeal, or actions that have been reversed are not public. Hospital actions are posted for a period of 7 years.
    2. Final disciplinary orders or actions of any regulatory board or agency: This includes actions taken by other state medical boards, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Medicare or the N.C. Medicaid program, among others. Just like NCMB public actions, orders or actions of other regulatory boards and agencies are posted indefinitely.
    3. Felony convictions: All felony convictions are posted. They remain part of the licensee’s posted information indefinitely.
    4. Certain misdemeanor convictions: State law specifies that convictions involving offenses against a person, offenses of moral turpitude, offenses involving the use of drugs or alcohol and violations of public health and safety codes are public information. Additional information about the specific types of misdemeanor convictions posted to a licensee’s public information page can be found in administrative rule 21 NCAC 32X .0104 and in the Licensee Information Reporting Guide posted on the Board’s website (found under Licensee Info Pages in the Professional Resources section). Misdemeanors are posted for 10 years.
    5. Certain malpractice payment information: Posting criteria for malpractice payments are set by statute. In accordance with state law and related administrative rules the following information is posted: 1. All judgments or awards that occurred on or after Dec. 1, 2002, and 2. Settlements or other payments of $75,000 or more that occurred on or after May 1, 2008. No dollar amounts or information that might identify a patient are published. Malpractice information is posted for seven years.


Optional Information
The Board provides licensees with the opportunity to supplement required information with information in several optional categories that may be of interests to patients and the public. The Board highly recommends reporting information in these optional categories. An accurate, complete licensee information page provides useful, objective information to visitors. Optional information that may be reported includes:
1. Licensee photo: The NCMB added the option of uploading a photo, subject to NCMB guidelines, last year. Photos are uploaded via the licensee information portal on the NCMB website
2. Practice Web address: Gives patients and others to access your practice website directly from your NCMB licensee information page.
3. Days licensee sees patients: At the primary practice setting This information may be especially useful to licensees who practice academic medicine, or who divide time between multiple professional obligations
4. Number of years in clinical practice (since completing residency): Gives visitors a rough idea of how long you have practiced clinical medicine. If you provide this information, be sure to update it every year at renewal to avoid being “frozen” in time.
5. Participation in Medicare and Medicaid and whether you are accepting new patients in these insurance programs: This information is valuable to patients on these public insurance programs and can save them the time and frustration of seeking appointments from licensees that do not accept their insurance, or who have capped their Medicare and/or Medicaid patient populations.
6. Description of practice philosophy: A favorite optional category among patients. Practice philosophy provides the licensee with an opportunity to communicate how he or she approaches patient care.
7. Whether you use electronic medical records in the office setting
8. Non-English languages spoken in the office and by the licensee: Very helpful patients who are not fluent in English, or who are seeking a provider who speaks a particular language
9. Things that set you apart Honors and awards, professional volunteer service (work in indigent clinics, etc.), current faculty appointments, professional publications (peer-reviewed), memberships in professional organizations

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