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MEB refers 7 PAs for investigation on opioid prescribing

Continuing its foray into using enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP) data to combat inappropriate opioid prescribing, the state’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) on Wednesday referred seven physician assistants to department legal staff for further investigation.

In August, the MEB similarly referred seven physician cases for investigation following analysis of ePDMP prescribing data (see Medigram story). At the time, ePDMP staff had not included PA-specific data to the MEB, which also regulates that profession; the data presented Wednesday fulfilled that August request.

The updated ePDMP report shows that when included with physician-prescribing data, PA prescribers were seven of the top 10 prescribers based on opioid prescriptions filled per month (see Section 2 of the updated report). The MEB acknowledged there could be various reasons behind the data and determined further investigation is warranted. It has not yet received a report on the seven physician-related cases and staff did not have an estimate for when the MEB would receive an update on those cases.

In other action, the MEB started the process for updating an unprofessional conduct regulation related to what physicians are supposed to do when convicted of a crime. Different administrative code regulations list different time periods for elements of notification compliance: one requires a license-holder to provide the state with certified copies of a complaint and judgement to the state within 30 days; another requires a physician to provide the state with written notice of some basic information within 48 hours of a conviction. The Society is reviewing these regulations to determine if a rule clarification is indeed needed and will communicate its findings to the MEB.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, for more information.

Back to October 18, 2018 Medigram