Virginia proposes tracking provider prescribing habits with PDMP

Passed unanimously by the House, the bill would require the Department of Health Professions Director to annually review the controlled substance prescribing patterns of providers.
By Jessica Davis
04:16 PM
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The Virginia State Senate is considering legislation that would increase its prescription drug monitoring program use to oversee prescriber habits.

Introduced by Del. Christopher Head in January, the bill unanimously passed the Virginia House of Delegates last week. The proposed legislation was referred to the Senate Education and Health Committee for a vote.

The bill would require the state’s Department of Health Professions Director and an advisory panel to annually review controlled substance prescribing and dispensing patterns of providers.

[Also: Joining opioid fight, North Carolina signs on to PDMP data sharing collective]

The idea is to track bad actors and curb gateways to access, Head wrote.

“Indicators of misuse indicates an unusual pattern of prescribing or dispensing of a covered substance by an individual prescriber or dispenser, or potential misuse of a covered substance by a recipient,” according to the bill.

When unusual prescribing or dispensing is noted by the director, they would report the event to the Enforcement Division of the Department of Health Professions, as well as the prescriber. A report would also be sent to an agent with law enforcement background for an investigation and intervention.

[Also: Michigan law requires providers check state's PDMP before prescribing opioids]

The advisors would also note necessary changes to unusual prescribing patterns and report those findings to Virginia’s Joint Commission on Health Care by Nov. 1 of each year. The board would also be responsible for making best practice recommendations.

The advisory panel would be made up of representatives from health regulatory boards, Department of Health, Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Virginia is just the latest state upping its PDMP efforts as a way to combat the growing opioid epidemic. In January, Nebraska became the first state to require all drugs be reported to its PDMP. And Michigan recently passed a law that requires all providers check the state’s PDMP before prescribing opioids.

Just last week, North Carolina signed onto the interstate PDMP data sharing collective, which connects the PDMPs of 46 states to give providers the full prescribing history of patients.

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Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com