Applying Best Practices to Prevent, Identify and Manage Prescription Misuse
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, more than 6 million Americans are misusing prescription drugs. In 2015, Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts was in the midst of an opioid epidemic. In 2019, there were 1,952 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths. The number of deaths continued to rise in 2020 with over 2,100 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths which was a 5% increase over the previous year.
As a response to this wide-spread problem, the Board of Registration in Medicine in Massachusetts (MA BORIM) added an effective pain management educational requirement to obtain and renew medical licenses. Prescribers should be aware of the federal and state laws and regulations that apply to prescribing controlled substances as prescription opioid misuse and/or use disorder has the potential to impact any patient. There are many "warning signs" that may indicate prescription opioid misuse that physicians and other health care professionals should consider when managing a patient’s care.
*This content is based on a quarterly newsletter issued by the Massachusetts Medical Society and Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman & Guekguezian, LLP, as an information source for Legal Advisory Plan members. Nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or legal opinions regarding specific situations. Consult legal counsel for application of laws and regulations in any individual case before taking any action or making any decisions.
Health care leaders, physicians, residents, other health care professionals and students in all health care professions.
- Identify basic safety precautions to be taken when prescribing controlled substances.
- Discuss worrisome behaviors that can inform a physician of a patient's potential substance misuse or substance use disorder.
- Apply safer prescribing guidelines and explain how they help to protect against substance misuse or substance use disorder.
- Explain how a patient-provider agreement may be used to outline safe opioid prescribing and educate patients about medication risks.
Megan Grew Pimentel, Esq.
Megan Grew Pimentel is a partner at Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman and Guekguezian, LLP. Megan is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She focuses her practice on the representation of healthcare professionals and institutions in medical malpractice actions and before the various Boards of Registration that govern these professionals. Her practice also includes the defense of individuals and businesses in civil actions involving general liability, product liability and other personal injury matters.
Daniel Wu, Esq.
Daniel Wu is an attorney at Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman, and Guekguezian, LLP. His practice is devoted to the defense of physicians, hospitals, and other medical professionals in medical malpractice actions and professional liability matters. In addition, his practice also includes general civil litigation matters
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
AMA Credit Designation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this internet enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.
MOC Approval Statement
Through the American Board of Medical Specialties (“ABMS”) ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Continuing Certification Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory, This activity has met the requirements as a Lifelong Learning CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) for the following ABMS Member Boards:
Allergy and Immunology
Colon and Rectal Surgery
Medical Genetics and Genomics
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Psychiatry and Neurology
National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA)
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00 Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.
Exam/Assessment: A score of 70% or higher is required to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
- 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
This course is offered through Massachusetts Medical Society.
To take this course you will be redirected to Massachusetts Medical Society's website. You must login or create an account with Massachusetts Medical Society in order to complete this activity.
Mocingbird works to provide curated, high quality content to our users. Have a suggestion? Want to partner with us? Get in touch!