New 7-day limit for opioid prescriptions

Michigan law imposes new restrictions on opioid prescriptions for treatment of acute pain and what this could mean for individuals on workers’ compensation.

Doctors are now prohibited from giving more than a 7-day supply of opioids when treating patients with acute pain. This state law took effect on July 1, 2018 and it is designed to help fight the opioid epidemic. Additional prescriptions can be given after the 7-day period expires if appropriate.

Acute pain is severe or sudden pain that resolves within a short time. It can be caused by illness, physical injury, and surgery. Individuals with cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and strained muscles experience this type of pain.

Opioids have been a hot topic in workers’ compensation circles for years. Many of our clients suffer from both acute and chronic pain after a workplace accident. We have seen the devastating effects when people become dependent on pain medications.

Michigan workers’ compensation law already prohibits reimbursement for opioids beyond 90 days unless specific procedures are met. This includes detailed physician reporting with periodic urine screening, a written treatment plan, and conscientious effort to reduce pain through alternative means. Drug rehabilitation including inpatient therapy should also be covered 100%.

We are thrilled to see our legislators doing their part to fight the opioid epidemic. However, doctors must also be free to treat patients using their professional experience and judgment. More legal restrictions can be a double-edged sword creating a bureaucratic nightmare for people suffering from pain.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Opioids no better than over-the-counter painkillers

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by .v1ctor Casale..

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