SUMMARY OF:A Sunset Review of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, State Medical Board

Why DLA Performed This Audit

The audit was performed to determine if there is a continued need for the board and whether its termination date should be extended. The board is set to sunset June 30, 2020, and will have one year from that date to conclude its administrative operations.

Report Conclusions

The audit concluded the board served the public’s interest by effectively licensing physicians, osteopaths, podiatrists, physician assistants, and paramedics. The board monitored licensees and worked to ensure only qualified individuals practiced in Alaska. Furthermore, the board developed and adopted certain regulatory changes to protect the public, improve the licensing process, and improve the delivery of services.

The audit also concluded the board did not serve the public interest by inconsistently reporting board license actions to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). In addition, the board did not adopt regulations to require licensees register in the controlled substance prescription database and did not adequately monitor licensees to ensure those with a DEA number registered with the controlled substance prescription database.

In accordance with AS 08.03.010(c)(13), the board is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2020. We recommend the legislature extend the board’s termination date to June 30, 2025, which is three years less than the eight year maximum allowed per statute. The reduced extension is mainly due to the failure of the board to consistently report license actions to the FSMB, adopt regulations governing registration in the controlled substance prescription database, and monitor compliance with the registration requirement.

Findings and Recommendations

  1. The board should adopt regulations to provide guidance for registering with the controlled substance prescription database.
  2. The board should develop procedures to ensure licensees with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number register in the controlled substance prescription database.
  3. The board chair should work with DCCED’s Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing’s director to establish and implement procedures to ensure the board reports disciplinary actions in accordance with state law.