MLMIC Insurance Company publishes Risk Management Checklists to assist insured dentists with the creation of policies and protocols in critical areas, including opioid management. These checklists focus on specific risk management issues policyholders are likely to encounter in the dental practice setting, such as managing patients with chronic pain and managing drug seeking patients.
We encourage you to review these checklists on a regular basis to promote patient safety and reduce potential liability exposure:
Management of Patients With Chronic Pain
The management of chronic pain through the prescription of controlled medication poses challenges and risks to both the patient and the healthcare provider. Common allegations against dentists in pain management claims include:
- Liability for failure to adequately treat pain
- Liability for allegedly inappropriately prescribing controlled substances
- Potential for civil charges being brought against a dentist for the patient’s diversion of narcotics and/or drug abuse or overdose
- Liability for failing to recognize a patient’s addiction and/or diversion and to refer the patient for treatment
View or download the checklist here: Management of Patients With Chronic Pain.
Management of Drug Seeking Patients
All healthcare professionals share in the responsibility for minimizing prescription drug abuse and drug diversion. Dentists are tasked with differentiating patients in need of effective pain management from those who may be seeking drugs for inappropriate reasons.
View or download the checklist here: Management of Drug Seeking Patients.
MLMIC’s Risk Management Consultants are available to assist insured dentists in their ongoing efforts to identify and address areas of concern related to opioid management. For guidance regarding a specific situation, please contact MLMIC’s Risk Management Department at (800) 275-6564.
In addition, policyholders can stay up to date on the latest risk management guidance and alerts by monitoring the MLMIC Dental blog, The Scope: Dental Edition, Dental Impressions and other MLMIC communications.