Navigating Prescription Monitoring Reform and Continuing Medical Education Mandates in the Wake of the Opioid Omnibus Legislation.

Date of Publication June 28, 2018

The new Opioid Omnibus legislation is set to take effect on July 1, ushering in a host of changes to the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) as well as reforms that pertain to any practice or physician that prescribes schedule II-V controlled substances. It is likely that these sweeping reforms to controlled substance prescription will change the standard procedure for most physicians that prescribe medication. Some of the notable changes introduced by the bill include but are not limited to: 

  • Prescribers are required to register for the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) when they renew their Controlled Substance Act (CSA) registration with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy (IBP). 
  • Prescribers who directly dispense controlled substances must report these medications to the PMP. 
  • All pharmacists and prescriber PMP reporting must occur within one business day of dispensing a controlled substance. 
  • The IBP will begin issuing targeted proactive prescriber notifications addressing suspicious patient prescription activity.
  • Each licensing board must establish disciplinary rules for practitioners who prescribe opioids in quantities that exceed reasonable, prudent levels. 
  • Physicians who prescribe opioids must receive continuing education regarding the CDC opioid prescribing guidelines as a condition of license renewal, however the requirement for continuing education regarding chronic pain management has been repealed. 
  • Beginning January 1, 2020, All prescriptions must be issued electronically unless directly dispensed or qualified as exempt. 

Healthcare providers most likely have questions pertaining to the implementation of the Opioid Omnibus Legislation. To assist providers in transitioning, the IMS has put together some practical answers to questions on the legislation. 

​​Q: Will i need to register for the PMP on July 1, 2018?

A: No, Prescribers must register for the PMP at the time of renewing their Controlled Substance Act Registration. 

Q: Does the existing chronic pain management CME mandate still apply if I am renewing my medical license after July 1, 2018?

A: No, it does not apply effective July 1, 2018. However, there is a requirement that Physicians, PAs, ARNPs, Dentists, and Podiatrists who prescribe opioids receive continuing education regarding the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines as a condition to obtain their license. 

Q: If I am renewing my medical license after July 1, 2018 do I need to meet the new CME requirements? 

A: Yes.

Q: How will the reforms to the PMP change how drug prescription is monitored?

A: Beginning February 1, 2019, the IBP will issue annual activity reports to all prescribers, detailing their controlled substance prescriptions from the previous year and a comparison with other prescribers of the same profession and specialty. The IBP is now authorized to issue targeted, proactive prescriber notifications of suspicious patient prescription activity. The IBP authority to respond to inappropriate prescribing practices is expanded to allow actions other than suspending, revoking, or refusing to renew a CSA registration. 

To access the full list of regulatory changes that the Opioid Omnibus Legislation has inaugurated, click the "Official IMS Opioid Omnibus Policy Brief" Link at the bottom of the webpage.

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