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i_opioidsubstance_2017a_2017-08-22t09:36:32z1 Hearing Summary

Date: 08/22/2017

Location: RM 271


Perspectives on Opioid Issues from Other Health Professionals


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09:39 AM -- Perspectives on Opioid Issues from Other Health Professionals

Dr. Timothy Flynn, American Physical Therapy Association - Colorado Chapter, distributed a handout to the committee (Attachment B). Dr. Flynn discussed the rising opioid prescription rates in patients with low back pain and the benefits of physical therapy (PT) for low back pain. He discussed the barriers to receiving exercise therapy for pain management. He expressed his desire that patients seek PT for pain prior to receiving a prescription for opioids. Dr. Flynn responded to committee questions about the use of PT as the first line of treatment. Dr. Flynn told the committee that he would send additional information to the committee about the cost savings realized by patients receiving PT prior to other types of pain management treatments.


09:55 AM

Dr. Rebekah Griffith, American Physical Therapy Association - Colorado Chapter, discussed her experience working in an emergency department and the benefits of having a physical therapist as part of the interdisciplinary care team in an emergency room. She provided examples about how patients can benefit from PT services when presenting with pain in an emergency room and how the use of PT services reduces the use of opioids to treat pain. Dr. Griffith responded to questions about follow-up care for patients who visit emergency rooms and insurance coverage for that care. Dr. Flynn responded to questions about the willingness of patients to pay for PT and to understand the value of the service. She discussed educational efforts designed to help patients understand that pain can be managed through movement therapies rather than by opioids.

10:15 AM

Mary Weber, Colorado Nurses Association, provided a handout to the committee (Attachment C). Ms. Weber discussed the role nurses play in prescribing opiates. She discussed the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), nursing schools' focus on education about safe prescribing, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines governing opioids. She spoke about the increased access and use of naloxone, and explained the recent federal law that permits properly trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. Ms. Weber responded to questions about the use of buprenorphine and the need for patients to utilized supportive services such as cognitive therapy while participating in MAT.


10:30 AM

Ms. Weber discussed the idea of providing Naloxone kits upon release from an emergency room to patients who survived an overdose to prevent another overdose while they are waiting for follow-up care. Ms. Weber discussed professional training related to prescribing buprenorphine and the the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) approval required in order to prescribe buperenorphine. Committee discussion and questions followed about the price of buperenorphine, the type of medical and mental health services that are part of a MAT plan, and the use of methadone and other drugs during MAT.

10:51 AM

Ms. Weber discussed Senate Bill 17-074, which established a program through the University of Colorado - College of Nursing to oversee the expansion of MAT services in Routt and Pueblo counties. She discussed her recommendations listed on page 4 of her handout (see Attachment C).

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