Photo: Kevin Kratka (Flickr)
The new rules adopted by the Medical Licensing Board address pain medication prescribing for chronic conditions. Essentially, they only apply to doctors who meet certain conditions, such as those that prescribe more than 60 pain pills to a patient per month for at least three consecutive months.
Doctors are now required to check the state’s prescription monitoring system to ensure the patient isn’t getting the same medication from multiple doctors. Doctors are also barred from prescribing the drugs without regular, in-person visits with the patient.
The Indiana State Medical Association helped develop the rules, in conjunction with the Indiana Attorney General’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force.
Medical Association Government Affairs Director Mike Rinebold says one of the key requirements is a contract that must be signed by the patient.
“They need to make sure, through the contract, that they’re aware of what their receiving and how they should take it, how they should store it and hopefully dispose of it in the end as well,” he says.
Rinebold says the medical association will work with doctors to educate them as well, helping ensure they’re using medication to improve the patient’s functionality and not just treating pain.