Pain Management Bill Passes Unanimously, Law Becomes Effective Immediately

Legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse and diversion in Ohio (HB 93) received unanimous support from the House and Senate and is now headed to Governor Kasich’s desk to be signed by Friday. The bill is being enacted with an emergency clause, meaning the law will become effective immediately unless otherwise noted in the summary of HB 93.

The legislation is widely regarded as one of the most aggressive efforts in the country to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic ravaging parts of our state. It is intended to provide the Medical and Pharmacy Boards and law enforcement additional tools to shut down pill mills and prosecute rogue prescribers that are unethically and illegally prescribing and dispensing medications. It is not intended to impede access to legitimate medical care for chronic pain patients.

HB 93 will primarily impact physicians in three ways: it will require licensure of pain management clinics, authorize regulatory boards to establish standards for Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) review and severely restrict in-office dispensing of controlled substances to patients.

The Medical Board approved an updated version of rules governing pain management clinics so please review the latest information. Again, if you treat pain or chronic pain, it is imperative that you and your practice understand the scope of these changes and the impact of the law on your practice.

Please click here for a summary of HB 93 and the updated Medical Board rules. To read the OSMA’s comments to the Medical Board on the draft rules on pain management clinic licensing, click here. Please click here to read OSMA President Charles Hickey, MD statement on the enactment of HB 93.

The Medical Board has also drafted proposed rules on OARRS review that the OSMA Prescription Drug Abuse Committee will be discussing in the coming weeks and drafting recommendations for changes to the rules. The Committee has been actively involved in HB 93 and other related activities for more than a year. The group is comprised of 28 physicians from across Ohio practicing pain medicine, emergency medicine, primary care, psychiatry, neurology, physical medicine & rehabilitation (PM&R) and anesthesiology.

Thank you for all of the comments we have received thus far on the pain management clinic licensure and OARRS rules. To participate in the committee or submit comments about the OARRS review rule in HB 93, please contact Jeff Smith, OSMA Director of Government Relations at jsmith@osma.org or (614) 527-6740.

We will continue to provide you further information on compliance with the new regulations from the Medical and Pharmacy Boards as soon as it becomes available. More information on HB 93 and resources on the effort to fight prescription drug abuse in Ohio is available at www.osma.org/prescriptiondrugabuse.

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