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Georgia Establishes New Rules for Opioid Prescribers

prescription drugs out of focus
By: Anita Linton
2 Minute Read

Under a new rule approved by the Georgia Composite Medical Board, physicians must take part in continuing medical education on opioid prescribing. Under the rule, physicians with active DEA certificate must complete the Boston University School of Medicine’s SCOPE of Pain program at least once. This must occur at the first renewal following July 1, 2017, or the first renewal following licensure. Completion of this requirement counts as two hours toward the CME required for license renewal.

In related news, as of July 2017, management of the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) passed from the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The new arrangement establishes several requirements on physicians:

  • All Georgia prescribers with a DEA permit must register to use the PDMP no later than Jan. 1, 2018.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, every new DEA prescriber registrant must register with the PDMP within 30 days of obtaining a DEA permit.
  • PDMP data must be maintained in a secure and confidential manner.
  • The prescriber will be held civilly and criminally responsible for misuse of this data by his or her employees.
  • PDMP data can be included in a patient’s EHR.
  • On or after July 1, 2018, any person initially prescribing a schedule II opioid or benzodiazepine will need seek and review a patient’s PDMP information. After that, prescribers must then review the PDMP information every 90 days thereafter unless the prescription is for:
    • No more than a three-day supply and no more than 26 pills
    • Inpatients in a hospital, long-term care facility, hospice, or personal care home, with the prescription administered or used by the patient on those premises
    • Out-patient surgery patients, with the prescription for no more than 10 days or 40 pills
    • Patients who are terminally ill and in outpatient hospice
    • Patients being treated for cancer
  • Prescribers are held administratively liable to their licensing board for violations.
  • Prescribers must advise patients of opioid risks and disposal.

To learn more about this change, click here.

Anita Linton
Anita Linton is a Senior Risk Manager based in Curi’s Raleigh, NC office.
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