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January 9, 2019

New state opioid prescribing rules now in effect: WSMA and DOH resources available

New rules governing opioid prescribing are now in effect for most prescribing professions in Washington state (including physicians and physician assistants). The following WSMA and Department of Health resources can help you succeed under the new requirements.

For clinicians and care teams

  • WSMA's one-hour webinar, Understanding New State Opioid Prescribing Rules, can help clinicians understand how to comply with the new requirements and will fulfill the new state requirement for continuing medical education on opioid prescribing. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
  • WSMA's new customizable PowerPoint template, Preparing Care Teams for New Opioid Rx Rule, can help practice leaders educate their practice care teams, regardless of size, on the new rules.

For your patients

Per the new opioid rules, before prescribing an opioid, prescribers need to provide patients information about the risks, safe storage, and safe disposal. The DOH offers patient handouts for all categories of pain patients (chronic, surgical, acute, and subacute) to satisfy this requirement. Find these handouts along with a patient video on the DOH website, under Toolkits, Public/Patient.

CME requirement

Allopathic physician and PA prescribers should note that simply reading the new rules will meet the new state requirement for opioid continuing medical education. Find links to the final rules on the WSMA website on the Opioid Clinical Guidance page. As there is no associated CME certificate for this activity, the MD or PA should note which WACs they reviewed and the date and keep that document with their other CME certificates. Note that a review of the rules does not meet the new state opioid CME requirement for osteopathic physicians and PAs.

Resources under development

More resources on the new rules, including an opioid prescribing workflow checklist, are under development and will be available in the weeks ahead. For more information, visit WSMA's Opioid Clinical Guidance webpage.

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