July 30, 2015
Minnesota implements new rules for prescribing opioid painkillers
Each day, 91 people die from an opioid overdose in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
To prevent injured workers from ending up with painkiller addictions, the state of Minnesota has adopted stronger requirements for prescribing physicians.
The new rules for long-term opioid prescriptions took effect in Minnesota on July 13, 2015.
Now, before prescribing long-term opioids, doctors are required to:
- Affirm that the patient cannot maintain functions of daily life without the medication, doesn't have somatic symptoms disorder, doesn't have a history of failure to comply with treatment, and doesn't have substance abuse disorder.
- Ensure that all other pain management options have been exhausted.
- Determine whether the following circumstances are present, and whether they constitute contraindications for long-term opioid use: history of respiratory depression, pregnancy or planned pregnancy, history of substance abuse, suicide risk, poor impulse control, and regular engagement in an activity that could be unsafe for a patient on opioids.
- Complete a scientific assessment to determine the patient's risk for abuse.
- Explain the potential consequences and complications of using opioids long-term to the patient.
- Enter into a written contract with the patient that includes a provision for drug testing at the doctor's discretion.
This is not intended to serve as legal advice for individual fact-specific legal cases or as a legal basis for your employment practices.