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PDFWAC 246-919-955

Patients with chronic pain, including those on high doses of opioids, establishing a relationship with a new physician.

(1) When a patient receiving chronic opioid pain medications changes to a new physician, it is normally appropriate for the new physician to initially maintain the patient's current opioid doses. Over time, the physician may evaluate if any tapering or other adjustments in the treatment plan can or should be done.
(2) A physician's treatment of a new high dose chronic pain patient is exempt from the mandatory consultation requirements of WAC 246-919-930 if:
(a) The patient was previously being treated with a dosage of opioids in excess of a one hundred twenty milligram MED for chronic pain under an established written agreement for treatment of the same chronic condition or conditions;
(b) The patient's dose is stable and nonescalating;
(c) The patient has a history of compliance with treatment plans and written agreements documented by medical records and PMP queries; and
(d) The patient has documented functional stability, pain control, or improvements in function or pain control at the presenting opioid dose.
(3) With respect to the treatment of a new patient under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, this exemption applies for the first three months of newly established care, after which the requirements of WAC 246-919-930 shall apply.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.71.017, 18.71.800, 18.71A.800 and 2017 c 297. WSR 18-23-061, ยง 246-919-955, filed 11/16/18, effective 1/1/19.]
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