Ameritox announced today that it is sponsoring a series of webinars aimed at educating Indiana physicians about a new set of laws intended to curb prescription drug misuse and abuse.
In 2010, 711 people in Indiana died from accidental drug overdoses, and nationally the Centers for Disease Control have deemed prescription painkiller abuse an “epidemic.” Modeled after Kentucky legislation aimed at stemming prescription drug abuse, Indiana is addressing the problem with an Emergency Prescribing Rule that will go into effect December 15 for physicians who prescribe opioids for chronic pain.
The Medical Licensing Board’s Emergency Rule requires specific actions of physicians, aimed at the safe and responsible prescribing of opioids. These new requirements involve heightened patient assessment and management, including calculating the morphine equivalent dosage of a patient’s prescription and taking action when such dosing exceeds certain levels. In addition, patients are required to sign treatment agreements consenting to periodic drug screens and random pill counts, among other things.
“We’ve long recognized that this national epidemic of prescription drug abuse is putting clinicians under intense pressure to both improve the clinical care of their patients and keep communities safe,” said Ameritox CEO Scott Walton. “It’s our job to make available to doctors the best tools to improve patient care, along with information to help them combat the epidemic and support them in understanding how to comply with these new laws.”
Roz Cordini, an attorney with Louisville-based law firm Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs LLP, will conduct the compliance education webinars on behalf of Ameritox. Cordini, a registered nurse and healthcare attorney, has extensive experience in matters involving hospital administration, regulatory oversight, health care fraud and abuse, and was extensively involved in Kentucky’s revisions to House Bill 1, that state’s laws aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse.
“The Attorney General of Indiana is personally involved in combatting prescription drug abuse and in shaping these regulations,” Cordini said, “so prescribers need to not only understand these regulations, but also establish a thorough system in their practices to document that they are following the rules.”
The webinars are scheduled for Dec. 17, Dec. 19, Jan. 14 and Jan. 23. They are free.
“These laws are not just for so-called pain doctors,” Cordini said. “Whether you are a gynecologist, general practitioner or an oncologist, if you are prescribing opioid painkillers long-term, you fall under the scope of these regulations.”
For more information on national prescription drug abuse: http://www.ameritox.com/national-prescription-drug-report/.