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Pain Management Resources

Washington Clarification Letter on 2017 Opioid Rules

Washington State Boards, Commissions and the Department of Health have composed a letter to clarify the 2017 opioid prescribing rules. We have received reports of patients on chronic opioid therapy whose opioids have been rapidly tapered or discontinued. We are also hearing reports of patients on chronic opioid therapy who are unable to find providers willing to care for them. The purpose of this letter is to help you better understand the existing rules around prescribing opioids and managing existing patients on chronic opioid therapy so that you feel comfortable continuing to care for these individuals. Read the letter in its entirety here and contact us if you have any questions.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Issues Key Clarification on Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

Read the press release from the American Society of Hematology here.  

“The Guideline is not intended to deny any patients who suffer with chronic pain from opioid therapy as an option for pain management. Rather, the Guideline is intended to ensure that clinicians and patients consider all safe and effective treatment options for patients. Clinical decision-making should be based on the relationship between the clinician and patient, with an understanding of the patient's clinical situation, functioning, and life context, as well as a careful consideration of the benefits and risk of all treatment options, including opioid therapy. CDC encourages physicians to continue to use their clinical judgment and base treatment on what they know about their patients, including the use of opioids if determined to be the best course of treatment. Providers should communicate frequently with their patients to discuss both the benefits and risks of opioid therapy and revisit treatment plans for pain regularly to achieve the most positive outcomes for patients.”

Read the full letter from the CDC here


New Rules Overview

On August 22, 2018, the Medical Commission passed new rules for prescribing and monitoring opioids. The rules are effective January 1, 2019.

Resources


EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It!

The Medical Commission has created a special set of resources specifically about opioids and the changes that will occur as a result of 1427. Read the full version here

  1. Medical Commission Chair Response to the New Opioid Rules
  2. Changes to Opioid Prescribing and Monitoring One Sheet
  3. Important Information about the Prescription Monitoring Program
  4. Opioid Rules FAQ
  5. Program Manager Words of Wisdom

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We encourage you to send us specific questions on the pain management rules for physicians and physician assistants.


Opioid Speaker Request

If you are part of a health care organization, hospital, association or patient group, request an educational presentation for your organization through the Medical Commission Speaker's Bureau