I’m honored to be serving as a panelist at Fredrikson & Byron’s upcoming “Opioid Investigations and Enforcements Breakfast Seminar” on May 22nd.
Opioids are a common and sometimes uncomfortable area where law and medicine intersect. For years, I’ve been extolling the virtues of the Federation of State Medical Boards’ “Model Policy” as a means for mitigating risk. It also serves as an excellent framework for approaching opioid-related incidents and investigations.
The Model Policy first appeared in 1998 and is now in its fourth edition (2017). Section 3 provides detailed guidance on patient selection, informed consent, medication agreements, drug testing, and so forth.
Adhering to the Model Policy ensures patient safety but also provides a safe harbor against enforcement actions. For example, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice typically includes this condition in opioid-related discipline:
Respondent shall read the Federation of State Medical Boards’ “Model Policy for the Use of Opioid Analgesics in the Treatment of Chronic Pain”
Adhering to the Model Policy is a good way to avoid being investigated. And acknowledging the Model Policy and demonstrating compliance with it are an effective means to respond to questions about care.