Complying with Michigan’s New Controlled Substance Laws – The Bona-Fide Prescriber-Patient Relationship Requirement
The state of Michigan has enacted a number of separate pieces of legislation to address the opioid epidemic. Most of these laws are directed at controlling the prescribing relationship between a physician and a patient.
Generally, Michigan requires a controlled substance license to prescribe controlled substances in the state. A holder of a controlled substance license may administer or dispense a schedule 2 to 5 controlled substance without a separate controlled substance license covering those substances. Additional requirements will attach to the prescribing relationship commencing at various intervals.
This article covers the new requirement regarding the establishment of a bona-fide prescriber-patient relationship. Starting on the sooner of March 31, 2019 or the date that regulations are issued, a licensed prescriber will be required to have a “bona-fide prescriber-patient relationship” in order to prescribe a schedule 2 to 5 controlled substance. In order to be considered a “bona-fide prescriber” the prescriber must review relevant medical/clinical records, complete a full assessment of medical history and current medical condition, conduct a relevant medical evaluation either in person or through telehealth, and maintain records of the patient’s condition to medically accepted standards.
All of these factors should be supported by the patient’s medical record. There are a lot of lose ends on the definitions applicable to each of these requirements. It is possible that additional details will be forthcoming when regulations are finalized. Because these requirements a condition precedent to being able to prescribe schedule 2 to 5 controlled substance, it is critical that physicians and other prescribers review their documentation standards to be certain that these requirements are reflected in the patient’s chart in each instance. Provider entities will need to consider adopting policies and procedures setting the standards for documentation and integrating the other requirements of Michigan’s new laws. Appropriate training should also be conducted to assure that prescribers and their support staff are aware of the detailed documentation requirements. Additionally, appropriate monitoring and auditing should be conducted to assure that prescribers are meeting the requirements.
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Source: Health Law Blog