The requirement to establish a "bona fide prescriber-patient relationship" prior to prescribing any controlled substances, which was part of the recently enacted opioid and prescribing legislative package, will be delayed pending the Governor's signature. As passed by the Legislature, House Bill 5678, sponsored by Rep. Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian), extends the effective date to March 31, 2019 or upon the promulgation of rules if prior to March 31, 2019. This requirement was originally slated to take effect at the end of this month.
Delaying the effective date gives MSMS and other stakeholders the opportunity to work with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs through the rules promulgation process to address several concerns with the definition of "bona fide prescriber-patient relationship." The current definition severely restricts the ability to provide quality care to established patients in emergent situations, when another prescriber is providing care when the primary prescriber is unavailable, when another licensed member of the health care team has been delegated to provide care, and during transitions of care such as from a hospital to a nursing home or hospice.
MSMS was instrumental in making sure this requirement did not take effect without appropriately addressing these unintended consequences. MSMS appreciates Rep. Kahle for agreeing to use her bill as the vehicle to accomplish this and Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), Chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee, for shepherding the final compromise through to its resolution.
Please visit MSMS's BeAWARE - Reversing the Opioid Epidemic website for additional information about the new prescribing laws and related resources. You may also contact Stacey P. Hettiger with questions at 517-336-5766.