A new state law (SB-1446) is pressing physicians to drop medical care for massive caseloads of current patients. The law goes into effect this fall and it requires the physicians to sharply increase their appointment load because the prescriptions expire much quicker than the previous legal standard.
There's simply no way that these pain management specialists can physically meet each current patient in person. The Certified Nurse Practitioners & the Physician's Assistants are no longer allowed to conduct the follow up appointments. The results are ominous for the healthcare professionals, as well.
Chris Moe is an advocate and patient living with chronic severe pain. Moe, who is known in social media as "Uncle Grumpy" produces a nightly webcast with guests from across the state. He and Dr. Lawrence Pasternack of Oklahoma State University discussed the draconian outcomes in a video, last night. Chris Moe begins the discussion by observing the suicide death of a patient in Florida who had also been cut off of pain treatment by his physician. Pasternack concurred, stating that he's observed multiple similar discussions.
SB-1446 was sponsored by Senator Anthony Sykes, who is termed out of the senate. the House author is Dale Derby, who chose not to seek another elective term. Terry Simonson, a long-time attorney, said to me that he was pleased to get the new opioid laws passed, this spring.
The new law requires 3 clinic appointments in the first 3 weeks of care for someone with persisting severe pain. Most physicians simply cannot work long enough days at the office to see that many patients.
Another part of the bill stiffens the criminal penalties and targets physicians who show a pattern of enabling any form of addiction.
Even though SQ788(Medical Marijuana) just became law, the physicians seem to be using THC drug tests as a 'black ball' to kick patients off the rolls of the medical practice. The mindset still seems to prevail, that cannabis is not a medicine but rather, a vice.
You can read the full text of the legislation, here.
Here are the claims made by the legislature, regarding this bill;
An Act relating to regulation of opioid drugs; amending 59 O.S. 2011, Section 495a.1, which relates to license reregistration;
- directing Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to require certain continuing medical education; providing an exception; amending 59 O.S. 2011, Section 509, which relates to unprofessional conduct;
- expanding scope of certain definition; amending 63 O.S. 2011, Section 2-101, as last amended by Section 1, Chapter 43, O.S.L. 2017 (63 O.S. Supp. 2017, Section 2-101), which relates to definitions; adding definitions;
- amending 63 O.S. 2011, Section 2-309D, as last amended by Section 35, Chapter 210, O.S.L. 2016 (63 O.S. Supp. 2017, Section 2-309D), which relates to central repository;
- providing that failure to properly utilize central repository is grounds for certain disciplinary action; authorizing Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to provide unsolicited notification to specific licensing boards under certain conditions; providing limits on certain prescription drugs;
- establishing certain requirements related to the procurement of opioid prescriptions; requiring practitioners to disclose health risks associated with opioids;
- requiring practitioner to include certain note in medical file of patient; directing applicable licensing boards to develop certain guidelines and make them available to practitioners;
- requiring practitioner and patient to enter into patient-provider agreement under certain ENR. S. B. NO. 1446 Page 2 circumstances; requiring practitioners to take certain actions under certain circumstances; providing exceptions;
- requiring that policies, contracts and plans adjust certain cost-sharing payment; requiring certain written policies; providing definition;
- directing Insurance Department to conduct evaluations and submit certain reports;
- authorizing Insurance Department to adopt certain rules and regulations; directing Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control to submit certain report;
- specifying contents of report; providing for codification; providing for noncodification;
- and providing an effective date.