Telluride Med Center: New Laws, Prescribing & Dispensing Opioids

On May 21 Colorado became the latest state to sign into law guidelines for the prescribing and dispensing of opioids. Telluride Med Center will be complying with those rules.

Dr. Sharon Grundy, director primary care, Telluride Medical Center

The new law, which is effective immediately, puts a limit on initial opioid prescriptions and requires physicians to screen patients on the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database upon the first refill.

The aim is to reduce the risk of nonclinical use, misuse or abuse of opioid medication.

According to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, in 2012, over 25 million adults in the United States reported experiencing pain on a daily basis. That same year, over 259 million prescriptions for opioids were written.

In 2013, the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids in Colorado and across the United States evolved into a public health epidemic leading to drug addiction, overdose deaths and increased costs to society.

“As health professionals and care providers we have a distinct responsibility to both help patients manage pain and improve function, while also working with them to prevent addiction, overdose or death,” says Dr. Sharon Grundy, director of primary care at the Telluride Regional Medical Center.

“In that regard, we’ve long taken special care when prescribing opioids,” adds Dr. Grundy.

The new law, however, will change how Dr. Grundy and her team prescribe.

According to Dr. Grundy, patients currently prescribed long-term narcotics will continue to meet with their provider for follow-up appointments so providers can review medication regimens and ensure opioids are appropriate for the symptoms, as well as assess risk of misuse and medication dependence.

For patients seen for new acute injuries and opioid medication is designated as the appropriate treatment, the patient will be assessed for risk of misuse and reviewed for recent controlled substance prescriptions through the The Colorado Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Additionally prescriptions will be limited to seven days. Refills will require an office visit.

For all patients, when considering opioid prescriptions, providers will continue to look at alternative or integrative non-opioid treatments.

Telluride Regional Medical Center provides the highest quality, comprehensive Primary Care and exceptional Emergency/Trauma Services. Since 1978, the medical center has evolved, wherever possible, right along with complex healthcare technologies and population growth while remaining within the 10,000-square-foot remodeled building, built in the 1960s.

Currently the Telluride Hospital District is working to secure a site for a new facility to serve the needs of the region today, tomorrow and 50 years into the future.

Comments are closed.