New legislation has come into effect in the state over the last eight months that have caused confusion and fear among prescribers and patients. A bill has been introduced (HB 2599 - http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2599.pdf ) That requires the following agencies to suspend, for a period of three years following the effective date of the act, the pain management rules adopted under chapter 209, Laws of 2010: (1) The podiatric medical board; (2) The dental quality assurance commission; (3) The board of osteopathic medicine and surgery; (4) The medical quality assurance commission; and (5) The nursing care quality assurance commission.
This, if passed, will allow time to for stakeholders to develop rules that will accomplish the intent of previous legislation (reducing misuse and abuse) while making sure that those in need of the medications continue to have access to them.
ASPMN is supporting the American Pain Foundation (APF) in also requesting that Washington State hold an Emergency Hearing on Pain Care Access. Washington State has been making changes to their pain policies resulting in patients being unable to find a pain care provider, changes or abandonment of pain therapies, and patients in need being turned away from health clinics or emergency rooms. We must speak up to prevent further deterioration of patients access to what they need to reduce or eliminate their pain, and treatments that healthcare providers use to help them.
APF recently conducted a telephone survey of all the community health clinics in WA state. They discovered that 70% of clinics will not treat people with pain and many of those clinics say they have no place to refer pain patients for treatment. Of the 30% that will see people with pain, 10% of those will not prescribe opioids greatly reducing one of the only covered treatment options for people with pain in the Medicaid system. Read the full report below.
This is an importation call for action! Use this link http://apps.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/default.aspx to find out who your state legislator is. Do not hesitate to contact them. Let them know how this is harming the people of their district and state.
WA State Access - APF Crisis Report
WA State House Committee on Health Care and Wellness
August 26, 2010
Washington State draft proposed rules submitted to the Pain Management Workgroup by the Medical Quality Assurance Commission's subcommittee on pain management
In February, 2010 we became aware of an issue in Washington State that a was moving rapidly through the Washington State Legislature. ASPMN believed the bill will leave many patients in unnecessary pain and put caring physicians and health care providers who try to treat their patients at risk of criminal charges. The community will also suffer the economic burden because of lost wages from increased disability, inadequate control of prescription drug abuse and an increased burden on the healthcare system. We wrote a letter, as did many other organizations, to the Governor expressing our concerns but the bill was still signed into law.
Full text of the letter
From the legislation five panels were formed to discuss this issue and provide recommendations. There is still an opportunity for us to provide input and help direct the decisions of these panels.
Below is the CR-101 (Preproposal Statement of Inquiry) that was filed by the Nursing panel (one of the five impacted professions). You can participate in the discussions and development of the required rules by attending the stakeholder meetings or submitting written comments. Written comments or questions may be submitted via email to a specific profession's program manager as noted on the CR-101, or to the pain management email at email@example.com.
Nursing panel CR-101
There are two upcoming panel meetings: August 30 and September 14 for us to provide input. If you are in the area, please attend them and if not please send in comments. ASPMN plans to have a representative at these meetings who will provide both written and oral comments.