WA state residents – Your comments are needed! This is critical for for WA state residents who are Chronic Pain Sufferers.
Below is a critical letter from the American Pain Foundation. Time is of the essence here!
Please, please, please help me and other chronic pain sufferers in WA state by reading the below information about a new bill passed by WA state and writing in to oppose it!
I cannot function without 300mg of tramadol daily and the legislation below would force my doctors and myself to cut that to 120mg. I and other chronic pain sufferers would see our mobilility and way of life severely affected by this legislation! While abusers of meds such as this need to be stopped, in the end, those of us who really need these medications are the ones who end up punished.
February 22, 2011
Dear APF members and allies,
The American Pain Foundation (APF) has been following important issues in Washington State and is concerned about the systematic deterioration of access to pain care for people with pain. We need your help in protecting access to care and rights for all Washington residents.
SPEAK OUT for the Rights of People with Pain in Washington State!
Send your comments on ESHB 2876 Chronic Pain Management Legislation
TAKE ACTION NOW! Comment periods end as early as March 4th!
The chronic pain management bill (ESHB 2876) was passed during the 2010 legislative session. The mandated rules are in the process of adoption and will go into effect June 30, 2011. This legislation is an unprecedented effort by the Washington state government to address prescription drug abuse and diversion by regulating WA state health care providers’ ability to prescribe opioids. While APF supports decreasing prescription drug abuse and fostering a safe environment for prescribers and their patients; these rules will require all Washington state physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, osteopathic physicians, podiatrists, and dentists:
1. Follow new pain management rules, which are not consistent with pain management guidelines published by professional specialty organizations such as the American Pain Society;
2. Seek consultation with a pain management specialist (which are severely limited in the WA state area) if they are not a provider who is excused from this ruling and they wish to prescribe a dosage of 120mg morphine equivalents or more per day.
The ESHB 2876 Problem: Decreased Access!
By requiring many health care providers to seek mandatory consultation, ESHB 2876 will increase providers’ time and consequently costs to treat people with pain. APF believes the rules created by this law will add time and burden for all health care providers who treat people with pain. This burden may escalate an already growing trend of providers turning away people with pain or creating blanket policies to not prescribe opioids in Washington state.
Please TAKE ACTION in these TWO ways!
SPEAK OUT for the rights of people with pain and voice your concerns! Demand options and access to all pain care treatments.
1. Use APF's automatic alert system to send your comments to the Department of Health.
2. Voice your individual concerns to the individual commissions by submitting your comments on the Department of Health Website. This rule affects several medical boards and commissions in WA state. When you click the link below to submit your comment, on the left you will see a list of ‘Document Titles,’ the name of the commission is at the end of each title, just click, ‘add comment’ and fill out the form. You can do one for each commission if you like. All on the list except the last two entries deal directly with ESB 2876. Submit your comments here: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/policyreview/
You can cut and paste the following comment into their online comment form or create your own:
As a resident of Washington state, I am deeply concerned about the rules proposed by ESHB 2876. By requiring many health care providers to seek mandatory consultation, ESHB 2876 will increase providers’ time and consequently costs to treat people with pain. This may escalate an already growing trend of providers turning away people with pain or creating blanket policies to not prescribe opioids in Washington state.
ESHB 2876 may impact access to care which could affect the 1.7 million Washington State residents who currently have a chronic pain condition and has the potential to affect ALL Washington state residents and their health care providers. The rules created by this law will add time and burden for all health care providers who treat people with pain. These rules do not apply to people in hospice care or those with cancer; however, such individuals may be affected indirectly if providers are forced to reduce their patient load due to the added time and cost it will take to manage people with chronic pain.
I would like to see the individual commissions re-examine the rules associated with ESHB2876 and to consider how detrimental these rules are for people living with pain in the state of Washington.
For more on Washington state issues, please visit our Washington state efforts page.
American Pain Foundation