Chronic pain meds change in MN

by Mary Rains

Mille Lacs Health System

Healthcare providers in the state of MN have been notified that the Minnesota State Legislature has new laws regarding narcotic prescriptions.

As of July 1, 2019, physicians and other medical providers are no longer able to write narcotic prescriptions to be filled more than 30 days after the date the prescription is written.

In the past, the Mille Lacs Health System COAT (Chronic Opioid Analgesic Therapy) Program required medical providers to meet with chronic pain patients every three months and at that time they dispensed prescriptions to be given to the patient’s pharmacy. These prescriptions were then filled once a month on the designated date.

However, with the new law, all prescribers everywhere in the state are no longer able to do that. At MLHS, patients will still see their medical providers every three months, but they will receive one prescription at that visit. Subsequent prescriptions will need to be picked up at the clinic of their choice and an R.N. from the centralized clinic in Onamia will be coordinating that. That nurse will call the patient to let them know the prescription is ready to be picked up.

With MLHS’s system, a nurse should call the patient to pick up the prescription within three days of when their prescription is due to be filled. If they have not been contacted and only have three days left, patients are advised to call the R.N. at 320-532-2335.  

Mille Lacs Health System is asking that those needing chronic pain meds remain patient with this process as the new rules go into effect and the systems are changed.

MLHS Pain Committee Chair and Physician Assistant Beth Twite underscores that MLHS did not put these rules into place. “We are complying with the new laws and are trying our best to make sure this new process goes as smooth as possible.”