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Commenting for this proposal will be open until the close of business on Monday, June 5.

Title of Proposal:

Meeting appointment time requirements for opioid patients

On behalf of:       

Dr. Carol Bender

Describe the Idea or Issue:

Virginia and the Board of medicine have issued mandates for visits involving the prescribing of opioids, yet physicians who are employed by others, (ie: large hospital groups) are not allowed long enough time slots for visits to fulfill these mandates. Thus these physicians would be in violation of the law. We must get legislation to allow physicians sufficient time for patient visits so that they may be in compliance with the law, have time to document their compliance during visits, and talk to the patients about how getting off opioids is better for their health. This is never a "quick" conversation.

Desired Outcome:

Longer office visits to allow physicians to obey the mandates of the law and also to practice good medicine. We cannot close our eyes to the fact that physicians are forced by employers or to continually violate this law. Perhaps we could legislate at least a 30 minute appointment for any patient on opioids. What this would achieve is allowing physicians more time to be able to truly start to deal with the opioid crises. Patients need to understand the issues not just be told "I am cutting your medicine - sorry I have no more time to talk to you!" Thank you for your consideration.

Background/Supporting Information:

Well known opioid crises. Physicians no longer in control of their own practices. Requirements by employer groups to push patients thru - deal with "one issue" per visit. Boston University Opioid CME states initial visit should take about 4 hours to cover all that is required. Certainly that is not practical but neither is 15 minutes currently allowed! Nor is 15 minutes sufficient for ongoing counseling and dealing with the "addiction" problem.

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