PDMP Query Regulations Tightening and Expanding Role for Providers.....

"57 Seconds - That's how long it took Linda's doctor to discover her opioid dependence"

"MassPAT. It takes a minute"

Massachusetts Medical Society VITAL SIGNS This Week  December 07, 2018
Campaign to help providers use MassPAT

A new campaign from MDPH and MassPAT seeks to keep physicians and other providers informed about the value and ease-of-use of the state's prescription monitoring program. Prescribers are required to query MassPAT before issuing every prescription for benzodiazepines or schedule II or III narcotics — a quick step that can help identify patients who may be seeking drugs because of addiction and/or at risk of overdose. A recent study by BMC suggested that 275,000 Massachusetts residents — 4.6 percent of people aged 11+ — had OUD in 2015. The MMS encourages physicians to develop systems to ensure regular querying of MassPAT. 

Massachusetts Medical Society VITAL SIGNS This Week   September 7, 2018

Reminder: Change to MassPAT requirements


The CARE Act addressing the opioid crisis has slightly changed prescribers' requirements regarding MassPAT, the state's prescription monitoring program. Prescribers are now required to query MassPAT before issuing every benzodiazepine prescription. Previously, MA law required such a query only before the first benzodiazepine prescriptions (as well as before all schedule II and III narcotic prescriptions). The MMS encourages physicians to develop systems, including the use of delegates when appropriate, to ensure regular querying of MassPAT, especially for patients with long-term benzodiazepine and narcotic prescriptions.  


There is no doubt that regulating bodies are tightening our requirements for PDMP query.

I find that a quick query of my state PDMP (Virginia) through the NarxCare Enterprise - for all the patients on my schedule - gets me the NarxCare Scores for each patient and this prints in my schedule.  It allows me to quickly focus in on patients who have NarxCare Scores greater than zero and it separates the patients who have no listings in the PDMP.  This is my first check for patients that I might need to prescribe a scheduled drug. 

The NarxCare scores are extremely helpful for new patients.  Those with higher scores prompt me to look at the actual PDMP report so that I can understand controlled meds that the patient is being prescribed and by whom.   Patients often won't list things like Phenteramine or Testosterone on their intake form.  With information from the PDMP, I can get a more thorough history from the patient and make better judgements about any meds that I might prescribe.  If their controlled med listing is worrisome, I can begin the counseling process for the patient regarding their use of controlled substances.  Fortunately, I have Behavioral Health services readily available and I can engage their assistance with these patients.

For my regular patients, I will use the PDMP information to make sure that the patient is not getting other controlled meds from other prescribers and make sure that I don't prescribe a benzodiazepine for a patient who is receiving opioids ( or visa versa) from another provider.

PDMP information is not only a safeguard for my prescribing practices, it is also a safeguard for our  patients. 

There is no substitute for high quality information and there is NO EXCUSE for not going to get the high quality information available in our state's PDMP.

BTW, my system is set up so that with a few clicks, I can get the NarxCare Scores for all the patients on my schedule automatically.  NarxCare scores have become more valuable than BP values with regard to risk and prescibing.
Lastly, getting NarxCare Scores and PDMP reports through the Appriss Gateway takes only about 12 seconds - that works nicely for me and fits into my busy workflow!

PDMP Query - it's the Law!