Massachusetts Medical Society: Testimony in Opposition to “An Act Relative to Prescription Monitoring Program Enforcement Regulations”

Testimony in Opposition to “An Act Relative to Prescription Monitoring Program Enforcement Regulations”

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) appreciates the opportunity to provide comment on H.1216, “An Act relative to prescription monitoring program enforcement regulations.” This legislation would require the Board of Registration in Medicine to discipline physicians not in compliance with requirements relative to the Prescription Monitoring Program.

Sufficient requirements already exist in current Massachusetts law to assure physician compliance with requirements for use of the Prescription Monitoring Program. The Department of Public Health has long had a Medical Review Group tasked with evaluating data from the Prescription Monitoring Program. Any suspicious activity, whether concerning prescribing habits or a lack of compliance with PMP, are forwarded directly to the appropriate licensing board. The Medical Review Group reports annually to the legislature with the number of cases it reviewed and forwarded to the Board. The current centralized Medical Review Group is also preferred because it can evaluate prescribing information from physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, podiatrists, certified nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives, all of whom are mandated to query the PMP, but each of whom report to different licensing boards.

It is also important to note that the Department of Public Health issues the Massachusetts Controlled Substance Registration- the state license that permits prescribing of prescription drugs. This “MCSR” is an important alternative source of potential enforcement by the DPH. They have the authority to rescind the MCSR. Between the licensing boards and the DPH, the Medical Society believes there are already sufficient processes and mechanisms to ensure full compliance with the Prescription Monitoring Program requirements.

The MMS urges the legislature to rely on existing mechanisms for requiring physician compliance with regulations regarding the Prescription Monitoring Program.

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