June 26, 2017
Recent regulatory changes regarding opioid use and the management of acute and chronic pain are set to go into effect on July 6, 2017. Based on recommendations that patients receive the lowest effective dose of opioids for the shortest possible duration, these updated Rhode Island Department of Health regulations require prescribers to limit individuals who have not received an opioid within the last 30 days to 20 doses and no more than 30 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per day for their initial prescription. The regulation also prohibits prescribing long-acting or extended release opioids (such as methadone) for acute pain.
To support these efforts, BCBSRI in partnership with our pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics, LLC, will implement these regulatory changes at the point-of-sale for patients who have newly obtained opioid prescriptions. This will not impact patients who have filled a prescription for opioids, and have a paid claim, within the previous 30 days.