Fluoroscopy license renewal in California — 3 tips to make it easy

Renewing your fluoroscopy license doesn’t have to be painful

Last updated Sept 2, 2019

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Source: Radiology Simplified, Transcend Review, Inc.

Need help renewing your fluoroscopy license? Email support@orbitcme.com

Quick Tip: If you’re a doctor or PA trying to renew your fluoro license, this article is for you.

Sign up for Orbit Fluoro now to earn the 10 fluoro credits (including radiation safety) you need to renew your California fluoroscopy license using PubMed. Orbit delivers AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ accepted by the RHB and California Medical Board, and certified by Tufts University School of Medicine.

Related Post: How I finish my California fluoroscopy credits every two years

Last year, a radiologist in the Bay Area was pulled off mid-procedure because the nurses discovered his fluoroscopy license had expired. That’s because it’s actually illegal to irradiate your patients in fluoroscopy without a valid license. Needless to say, breaking the law doesn’t look good for anyone involved.

Doctors and physician assistants alikeif you use fluoroscopy in California, you’ll need to renew your California Supervisor and Operator Permit. The Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) oversees fluoroscopy license renewal, to help ensure public safety when healthcare providers use fluoroscopy machines.

It’s worth making sure your fluoroscopy license isn’t expired, and it’s an annoyance that all of us go through every two years. Since we’re all about killing paperwork, we compiled three quick tips on simplifying your fluoroscopy license renewal, both for doctors and PAs.

1. Remind yourself 3 months before expiration

Check your fluoroscopy certificate expiration date and subtract 3 months. That’s when you should expect to see your renewal paperwork in the mail:

§ The RHB sends out your renewal billing notice 90 days before your permit expires. But that’s physical mail, so it could go to an old apartment address.

§ If you still haven’t received the renewal forms 45 days before the permit expires, be sure to email rhblistc@cdph.ca.gov with your mailing address and certificate/permit number.

§ If you’re within 30 days of expiration, you can use the Special Renewal Application Form here.

Set a reminder on your calendar. Have your computer remind you 3 months before your expiration date. If your group already uses Orbit for CME, the enterprise version automatically issues you reminders about this stuff.

There’s another reason to avoid an expired licensefees. If you let your license expire and then renew, expect to pay a higher renewal fee as a penalty for late renewal. It’s kind of like your car registration fee.

Pay the correct fee amount. The current renewal fee schedule is posted on your renewal paperwork. The ballpark amount is roughly $104 for doctors and $154 for PAs, due every two years. But those numbers change periodically. If you don’t pay the correct fee, that’s cause for the RHB to decline or delay your permit renewal. And if your permit is already expired, you’ll likely pay more to renew than usual.

According to the RHB, it can take 4–6 weeks for your official permit to arrive, but you might get a temporary permit earlier that you can use in the meantime.

2. Get the right kind of Fluoroscopy CME

As part of your renewal, you need to demonstrate CME specific to fluoroscopy. Here’s a requirements summary from the official RHB guidelines:

§ Earn 10 fluoroscopy credits over the two year period counting back from your expiration date.

§ All of the credits must relate to the application of X-ray to the human body.

§ Ensure that 4 out of 10 of those credits relate to radiation safety for the clinical uses of fluoroscopy.

If you’re a physician with a license in California, use credits designated AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. This ensures that your credits will simultaneously be accepted by the RHB and the California Medical Board.

If you’re a PA in California, AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is also good for your NCCPA Category 1 requirement.

Getting fluoro CME that complies should be easy, if you’re doing it right.

If you Google for fluoroscopy CME, you’ll see lots of courses to choose from that should work in theory, but make sure it satisfies the criteria above and comes from a legitimate source.

If you’re already using Orbit, earning fluoroscopy CME is hassle-free. Install the Orbit plugin for your Chrome desktop browser. Search PubMed (free) and study 20 abstracts or articles of your choice related to fluoroscopy. Make sure at least 8 of those abstracts relate specifically to radiation safety. Orbit will automatically process and document the paperwork so you can claim this work for fluoroscopy credit. You’ll be able to print a fluoroscopy-specific certificate and detailed audit report in case the RHB comes knocking.

3. Keep your address current with the RHB

Having your fluoroscopy renewal sent to the wrong address is a nuisance. Ideally, you live or work at one address for years on end. But how often does that happen?

According to the RHB, you’re required to submit a change of address form within 30 days of moving.

Don’t expect a convenient website to change your address, but at least you can fax the form to (916) 440–7900.

In case you don’t have access to a fax machine, take your chances with snail mail:

California Department of Public Health Radiologic Health Branch, MS 7610 Certification Support Unit P.O. Box 997414 Sacramento, CA 95899–7414

In Conclusion

Renewing your fluoroscopy license should be simple, if you’re doing it right. If you’re already using Orbit for your CME, you’re already ahead of the game.

Need help renewing your fluoroscopy license? Email support@orbitcme.com

- Orbit Staff

References

[1] Certification FAQs, RHB/CDPH, accessed 6/3/19 [here]

[2] Continuing Education Credit Information, RHB/CDPH, accessed 6/3/19 [here]

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Orbit is the easiest way for doctors and PAs to finish their fluoroscopy and California Medical Board credits.

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