A letter outlining the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians’ concerns with House Bill (HB) 167 and companion bill, Senate Bill (SB) 119, which specifically single out primary care physicians for onerous chronic pain prescribing restrictions, was mailed to all 132 members of the Ohio General Assembly on April 27.
In addition to substantive continuing medical education (CME) requirements, the bills state that the only way primary care physicians can prescribe opioids for chronic pain is if they also provide office-based opioid treatment for addiction in their practice.
HB 167 and SB 119 singles out primary care physicians requiring them to meet more extensive requirements than all other physicians to prescribe controlled substances for chronic pain.
- The physician offered opioid dependence or addiction treatment in their practice,
- The physician completed 8 hours of CME relating to addiction (one-time requirement),
- The physician completed 2 hours of CME annually on prescribing controlled substances, and
- The physician utilized an electronic medical record (EMR) system that provides direct access to OARRS.
The legislation restricts controlled substances for chronic pain to 50 milligrams morphine equivalent daily dose (MED).
Let your legislators know your concerns with HB 167 and SB 119 by utilizing the American Academy of Family Physicians’ SpeakOut system—it’s quick and easy to do!
OAFP Lobbyist David Paragas, JD, and Executive Vice President Ann Spicer met with State Representative Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville, OH), the bill sponsor, on April 26 to review concerns. The meeting was not at all helpful as Rep. Edwards clearly feels that overdose deaths and addiction issues are solely the result of physician prescribing patterns. He does not consider family physicians to be specialists despite our best efforts to explain that family medicine is a board-certified specialty. He feels that primary care physicians are prescribing too many controlled substances and anyone needing chronic pain management should obtain that care from a subspecialist physician.