CME is, for now, the closest thing to mandatory requirements for physicians, and even those vary widely. For example, in Massachusetts, doctors who prescribe controlled substances are required to complete at least three hours in opioid education before renewing their license.
Tennessee, which AAPM's Twillman says comes closest to ideal, requires healthcare providers, including MDs, DOs, ARNPs, and PAs to complete 10 hours of CE during each license renewal period.
The White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy supports more provider education as well. Last week, it unveiled two online training videos. Doctors who watch them can receive 1.25 CME credits.
"These CME courses provide practical guidance for clinicians in screening their pain patients for risk factors before prescribing. They also help medical professionals identify when patients are abusing their medications, using videos that model effective communication about sensitive issues, without losing sight of addressing pain," says Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy.
A plan released by the White House last year aims to decrease prescription drug abuse by 15% by 2015.