PMP Blog

The PMP Blog offers updates and resources for providers who use the PMP. The posts include timely information and guidance for effective use of the PMP to improve communication and patient-centered care.

Mar 2023

New Guidelines for Opioid Prescriptions and Equitable Use of Prescription Monitoring Program

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released updated clinical guidelines for prescribing opioids for pain. The new publication updates guidance from 2016 that was issued to help improve appropriate opioid prescribing while minimizing opioid-related negative health outcomes.

The updated guidelines include comprehensive recommendations to help Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) providers improve the equitable use of PMP through enhanced individualized care, risk management, and attention to health disparities.

CDC makes the following key recommendations:

  • Review PMP data before every opioid prescription for acute, subacute, or chronic pain.
  • During long-term opioid therapy, review PMP data at a minimum before an initial opioid prescription and then every three months or more frequently. However, because PMP information can be most helpful when results are unexpected, providers should apply this recommendation when feasible to every patient and not differentially based on assumptions about what they may learn about a specific patient.
  • Use specific PMP information about medications prescribed to their patient in the context of other clinical information, including the patient’s history, physical findings, and other relevant testing, to help communicate with and protect their patient.
  • Do not dismiss a patient from their practice based on PMP information alone. Doing so could adversely affect patient safety and result in missed opportunities to provide life-saving information (e.g., about risks of prescription opioids and overdose prevention) and interventions (e.g., safer prescriptions, non-opioid pain treatment, naloxone, and effective treatment for a substance use disorder).
  • Screen for substance use and discuss concerns with the patient in a nonjudgmental manner.

These evidence-based recommendations establish clear standards for effective and equitable use of the PMP.

Texas Health and Human Services urges all providers prescribing opioids to review the other recommendations in CDC’s new guidelines and align their practices with the most recent evidence.

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