A Reminder from NYSDOH About Opioid Treatment Plan Requirement

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently issued a letter to all practitioners and facilities reminding them of a change to the Public Health Law that became effective April 1, 2018. At that time, the law was amended to require that a written treatment plan be placed in the patient’s medical record when a practitioner prescribes opioids for pain management for longer than three months or past the time of normal tissue healing. The exceptions are:

  • cancer that is not in remission;
  • hospice or other end-of-life care; and
  • palliative care.

DOH requires documentation of treatment plans, at a minimum annually, and they must include:

  • goals for pain management and functional improvement based on a diagnosis and a discussion on how opioid therapy would be tapered to lower dosages or tapered and discontinued if the benefits do not outweigh risks;
  • a review with the patient of the risks of alternatives to opioid treatment; and
  • an evaluation of the risk factors for opioid-related harms.

MLMIC is always available to support our insureds and has resources to assist our policyholders with compliance, including Risk Management Tips that can be beneficial in formulating a plan and properly documenting the care and treatment of these complex patients:

Additionally, the attorneys at Fager Amsler Keller and Schoppmann are available to provide guidance on the use of pain management contracts and further advice on relevant issues.