New limits on prescription pain killers will be in place for some Nebraskans beginning this fall.
It will start with Medicaid patients October 1st. They will be limited to no more than 150 doses of opioids in 30 days.
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program will track how much doctors prescribe.
Calder Lynch, Department of Health and Human Services deputy director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care, says the goal is to prevent opioid drug abuse.
“We’re trying to head it off by working more collaboratively with our sister divisions within HHS and others to look at ways where we can put better opportunities to prevent individuals from becoming addicted to opioids,” Lynch tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Then for those that do, more treatment opportunities.”
The limits are in line with CDC guidelines.
“We’re also giving providers tools and education they need to help taper individuals who may be at higher dosing down to that level,” Lynch says, “and also to help give them some ability to work with their patients to make sure that they’re at their appropriate dosing limit.”
Lynch says they sent letters to doctors who are prescribing Medicaid patients more than the recommended level of about five pain killers a day.
He says there are exceptions allowed for patients with cancer or similar conditions.
Beginning January 2017, pain killer prescriptions for all Nebraskans will be tracked by the monitoring program.