For the first time, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board (MEB) has opened cases based on data received from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The MEB took this action at its monthly meeting on Wednesday in Madison.
The state’s Controlled Substances Board (CSB) is tasked under state law with analyzing PDMP data to determine when a prescriber, dispenser or patient could be engaging in “suspicious or critically dangerous” behavior. In such cases, the CSB is expected to refer them to the appropriate regulatory board, such as the MEB when the data relate to a physician. The CSB has established a workgroup to help better define what constitutes “suspicious or critically dangerous” activity; Wednesday’s MEB meeting included a presentation from the PDMP to give a progress report on the data collection and to ask the MEB for suggestions in setting parameters for the definition.
That presentation, which can be viewed here, included data showing physicians’ prescribing practices for a six-month period from December 2017 through May 2018, including the number of prescriptions written and number of doses prescribed per month. While most of the 15,521 Wisconsin-licensed physicians currently allowed to prescribe controlled substances were clustered in graphs detailing such prescribing measures, several outliers garnered the MEB’s attention. After significant discussion about the PDMP data analysis, the MEB opened seven cases for further investigation—the top seven cases in the top 0.04 percentile compared to the mean for all physicians.
As this is a completely new area to use when opening a case, the MEB is “dipping a toe” into these data sources to determine if prescribing practices fall below the minimum standard of care. Watch future issues of Medigram as this process evolves over the next several months.
Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations Department for more information.
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