Letter from the President
I am honored to have been selected to serve as your president for 2017. I have been a member of the New Jersey Orthopaedic Society for many years, and have been privileged to represent you on the Board of Directors in a variety of leadership positions. I am very familiar with the initiatives, goals and mission of the NJOS, and am proud of our efforts to serve the orthopaedic surgeons in our State.
We have an extremely effective (and busy) advocacy program – led by stellar health care counsel, Mark Manigan, Esq., and our executive director and lobbyist, AJ Sabath – tracking and monitoring hundreds of bills in Trenton, and working with administration officials on the hottest issues facing the profession – out of network and other reimbursement issues, assignment of benefits, attacks on the state’s ambulatory surgery centers, etc. The issues continue to pop and our team continues to put out fires and advance proactive initiatives. Our state advocacy program is one of the nation’s best (and recognized by the AAOS for our aggressive nature), and our top priority as an association. We have to have good people watching our backs in the State Capitol so we can continue to practice and provide the best health care possible for our patients.
Our annual meeting and other educational programs are well recognized for their outstanding speakers and timely topics. We welcome your attendance, participation and suggestions so we can continue to meet your educational needs.
And please don’t hesitate to contact me with anything that’s on your mind. Again, I am privileged to serve you this year as your president, and welcome your input and active participation as we advance our advocacy and education agenda. Our Trenton office staff, administrated so effectively by Rachel Holland (email@example.com or 609-392-7553) can assist with your questions as well.
Ronald Selby, MD
The State Board of Medical Examiners yesterday, March 2nd, adopted emergency regulations to implement the new opioid prescribing limitations law recently signed into law by Governor Christie immediately. Please note that you and your physician colleagues should immediately comply with these regulations. Please find the emergency regulations here: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/bme/Documents/BME-Emergency-Adoption-and-Concurrent-Proposal.pdf. In addition, please find an update to the bulletin we recently provided below. Again, the law’s prescribing requirements are now in effect. These emergency rules are effective immediately and will remain in effect for 60 days, and are being concurrently proposed for re-adoption to permit the submission of comments concerning the rules and the intention of the Attorney General and Board to make these rules permanent. Comments may be submitted after March 20th when this rule is officially published. We will remind you when that date approaches. contact us with any questions.
NEW STATE OPIOID PRESCRIBING INFORMATION
Please review this entire bulletin and share it with your physician colleagues so they can comply with this new state law as soon as possible. Last month, Governor Chris Christie signed sweeping new legislation changing state law as to how and when opioid drugs may be prescribed. The law has now taken effect via emergency regulations. The bill was scheduled to take effect on May 16, 2017 but as we suspected the prescribing provisions are now in effect. Under the new law and according to the emergency regulations, a practitioner is not permitted to issue an initial prescription for an opioid drug in a quantity exceeding a five-day supply for treatment of acute pain. We advise members to amend their opioid prescribing practices to comply with the law as soon as possible.
Prior to issuing such an initial prescription, a practitioner shall:
Discuss with the patient the risks associated with the drug, including risks of addiction and overdose;
Explain the reasons why the prescription is necessary;
Set forth available alternative treatments;
Take and document the results of a thorough medical history;
Conduct, as appropriate, a physical examination;
Develop a treatment plan focused on the patient’s pain;
Access relevant information from the Prescription Monitoring Program.
On the fourth day of an initial prescription a practitioner may, after consultation with the patient, issue a subsequent prescription for the opioid drug. In order to do so, the practitioner must determine that the subsequent prescription is: (i) necessary and appropriate; and (ii) will not present an undue risk of abuse, addiction or diversion.
If a third prescription is issued to a patient for an opioid, the practitioner is required to enter into a pain management agreement with the patient. Finally, any health care professional authorized to prescribe an opioid shall take part in at least one educational credit (in each reporting period) related to prescribing opioid drugs.