By JESSE A. MARKOS, ESQ.
Wachler & Associates, P.C.
The Michigan Opioid Laws include a 10-bill package of legislation passed in December, 2017, to help curb Michigan’s increasing substance abuse and drug diversion problem. The majority of these provisions came into effect on June 1, 2018 and healthcare providers must become familiar with and incorporate these provisions in to their practice to ensure they are compliant with the changes.
Healthcare providers use the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) to review a history of any Schedule 2-5 controlled substances that a patient has legally obtained. Not only does MAPS list the prescriber and type of controlled substance that has been prescribed, but it also lists the location of the pharmacy it has been dispensed at. MAPS data assists healthcare providers in identifying evidence of potential diversion such as: obtaining controlled substance prescriptions from more than one provider, filling prescriptions early, filling prescriptions at multiple different pharmacies, and filling prescriptions at distant pharmacies. In the past, providers were not required to register for or use MAPS, although it was highly encouraged and likely to be considered the standard of care when prescribing a controlled substance. Nevertheless, while it was largely considered the standard of care to run and review a MAPS report when prescribing a controlled substance, the issue of how frequent such reports should be run for a chronic patient was less certain. The new laws make it both an express requirement that a prescribing healthcare provider register with MAPS and that they run and review such data every single time a prescription is written that exceeds a three-day supply.
Another important provision in the Michigan Opioid Laws is the “Start Talking” consent form, which must be filled out whenever a prescriber issues a controlled substance containing an opioid to a minor or adult. This form not only has signatures from all involved parties, but it contains all of the relevant information about the risks of taking the opioid, such as: acknowledgement that the drug has potential for abuse, how to properly dispose of an expired or unused controlled substance, and that the delivery of a controlled substance is a felony, among other things. Again, although obtaining prior consent was certainly a standard of care requirement previously, the new laws make it an express requirement that the specific notice listed in the new laws must be adopted in any Consent Form being utilized by a health care provider moving forward.
The Michigan Opioid Laws contain ten (10) new provisions that were passed by the Michigan Legislature, and providers who prescribe or dispense controlled substances must familiarize themselves with these new laws in order to remain compliant and protect their licensees. For additional information or assistance, contact Jesse A. Markos, Esq., of Wachler & Associates, P.C., at (248) 544-0888.