-Bernita C. Taylor, M.D.
The Opioid Crisis…
It’s the lead story on TV news, talk shows and blogs. It has generated countless newspaper articles. We’ve read about the tragedy of addiction and the escalating number of opioid related deaths.
The crisis has led to increased vigilance among prescribers to do a better job documenting pretreatment screening and monitoring of our patients receiving acute or chronic opioid therapy for pain management. Many physicians have completed formal CME programs to get updated best practice recommendations for safer prescribing. Reviewing the PDMP prior to prescribing an opioid is becoming the new standard of care in Maryland. It provides a level of protection for prescriber and patient by making it easier to detect abuse.
As Maryland physicians, we are trying to do our part, but we still have questions and concerns. How do we deal with restrictive prescription formularies and complicated prior authorization regulations? How do we get insurers to cover the recommended urine drug screens? How do we help patients gain better access to psychosocial services, specialty pain management services and addictions treatment? How do we get the popular press to stop blaming physicians for all of the flaws and failures of our healthcare system? There is a lot going on and a lot to talk about.
Fortunately, MedChi recognizes and supports us in our struggle. An Opioid Task Force has been established to focus on the crisis. They will be gathering information, addressing physician concerns and helping to formulate our legislative agenda. MedChi will continue to support a Maryland physicians’ right to prescribe opiate medication for pain control when medically indicated. MedChi will also continue its efforts to educate the public on the complex, multi-factorial nature of the opioid crisis and refute the misconception that the blame should rest solely on the shoulders of the physician community.
Interested in more information on opioid prescribing in Maryland? Consider attending the next BCMA continuing education program on November 15, 2017 -Opioid Panel Discussion.
See you there.