Act 337 of the Regular Session of the 2011 Louisiana Legislature enacted an amendment to Louisiana R.S. 37:1285(A) to add new subsection (A)(32), which provides an additional ground for physicians to be disciplined by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (the “LSBME”). The new ground relates to a physician holding herself/himself out to the public as being certified by a public or private board or using the phrase “board certified”. In order for a physician to use the phrase “board certified” with the public, all of the following criteria must be met:

(a) The full name of the board from which the physician received certification and the name of the specialty or subspecialty is included in the advertisement;

(b) The board that provides the certification meets any of the following qualifications:

(i) It is a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties or an American Osteopathic Association certifying board;

(ii) The board has been approved by the LSBME;

(iii) The board requires an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or American Osteopathic Association approved postgraduate training program that provides complete training in that specialty or subspecialty.

(c) If the physician advertises and does not meet the criteria articulated above, the physician must list his or her qualifications for performing the advertised medical procedure or procedures.

The bill was signed by Governor Jindal on June 29, 2011. It will become effective August 15, 2011.

Complying with this new enactment is important, because failure to do so provides grounds for discipline of a physician, which may include refusal to issue, suspension, revocation, or other disciplinary action against the license of a physician by the LSBME.