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Jun 8 2016

FAQs on the Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative

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NCMB has received numerous questions about the new Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, and their answers:

Q: Is cutting patient dosages/quantities so that they fall below the 100 MMEs per patient, per day threshold an acceptable response to NCMB’s Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative?

A: No. NCMB does not advocate arbitrarily adjusting medication dosages/quantities. Clinical decisions, including adjustments to medication dosages, should always be made based on objective clinical information, in accordance with current accepted standards of care.

Arbitrarily adjusting or ceasing treatment for a patient on long term opioids in an attempt to avoid investigation could result in substandard care that is in itself grounds for regulatory action by the Board.

Q: Does the Medical Board consider 100 MMEs per patient, per day to be the highest dose a physician or PA should prescribe to a chronic pain patient?

A: No. There is no established “limit” or maximum acceptable dose for chronic pain patients. The type of medication prescribed and dosage ordered will depend on the patient’s medical needs, prior history of opioid use and other factors to be determined by the prescriber, in accordance with current standards of care.

Q: Is the objective of the Safe Opioid Prescribing initiative to reduce opioid prescribing?

A: NCMB’s objective is to reduce or eliminate inappropriate or excessive opioid prescribing. If prescribing and associated care conform to current standards of care, the Board has no issues with it. If prescribing is inappropriate or excessive then, yes, the Board’s goal is stop it.

Click to read more Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative FAQs

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