Upcoming public meetings on DOH opioid prescribing rulemaking
The Washington State Department of Health has announced public meetings to collect input on rules being developed for House Bill 1427, legislation passed by the Legislature earlier this year that aims to facilitate best practices for safe, effective and appropriate opioid prescribing. The rulemaking will focus on two components: opioid prescribing and improvements to the state’s prescription monitoring program.
For the first component, as required by HB 1427, the DOH must initiate rulemaking on opioid prescribing, to be completed in 2019. The WSMA was successful in amending the bill language to include physicians in the rulemaking, ensuring that clinician expertise will help shape the final rule. The WSMA will seek evidence-based rules that reduce inappropriate prescribing while ensuring access to appropriate pain care, without additional administrative burden, and will also work to obtain appropriate exemptions for physicians based on education, training, number of opioids prescribed, patient panel and practice environment.
The second rulemaking component makes changes to the prescription monitoring program to make it easier for physicians and other clinicians to make informed decisions about prescribing. The legislation directs the program to send prescribing reports to individual clinicians to compare against established standards and guidelines and gives groups of five or more prescribers access to practice-level prescribing data for quality improvement efforts. The legislation also establishes an overdose notification system, using the prescription monitoring program to alert clinicians when their patient has presented in an ED with an overdose. These provisions are largely based on recommendations from the WSMA and Washington State Hospital Association Joint Opioid Safe Practices Task Force.
The DOH will hold seven public meetings in locations across the state between September and March to gather input on both rulemaking components. Physicians are encouraged to attend their area meeting. If unable to attend in person, comments can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Locations include:
Tumwater, Sept. 20, Educational Service District 113
Spokane, Oct. 19, Spokane Convention Center.
Yakima, Nov. 15, Red Lion Hotel Yakima Convention Center.
Kent, Dec. 12, CenterPoint Conference Center.
Vancouver, Jan. 18, Fort Vancouver Regional Library.
Tumwater, Mar. 14, WA State Dept. of Labor & Industries Building.
For more information on the rulemaking or these meetings, visit the DOH website. For more information on HB 1427, view this WSMA/WSHA webinar, originally recorded on July 27, on how to prepare your practice for the law’s implementation.