Prescribing opioids: Resources for providers
Here are some resources to consider as you assess opioid and benzodiazepine prescribing:
- Information about the methodology we used to analyze your prescribing patterns (PDF)
- Review opioid and benzodiazepine co-prescribing patterns among Part D prescribers who are outliers as compared to their peers (PDF)
From the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
- HHS Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report
- HHS Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in Primary Care Settings The 2016 Guideline is for primary care clinicians treating chronic pain in patients age 18 and older. In 2019 the CDC issued an important clarification regarding misapplication of the Guideline that could put patients at risk, such as application to populations outside its scope, dosage recommendations that result in patients being “cut off” opioids or hard limits, abrupt tapering or sudden discontinuation, and recommendations being applied to patients receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
From the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- FDA Warning for Co-Prescribing Opioids and Benzodiazepines Outlines concerns with the co-prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines. In 2019 the FDA issued guidance regarding serious harms, including suicide, associated with abrupt tapering or discontinuation in patients using prescription opioids.
- FDA Label Changes to Guide on Tapering. Identifies harm reported from sudden discontinuation of opioid pain medicines and requires label changes to guide prescribers on gradual, individualized tapering.
From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):
- Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Program (QIN-QIO): CMS’s QIN-QIOs work with providers to improve medication safety and care coordination related to medication management in primary care, pharmacies, nursing homes and outpatient settings. Locate your QIN-QIO.
- The CMS Roadmap to Address the Opioid Epidemic
- CMS efforts to address patterns of opioid prescribing in Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug programs
- July 2019 Medicare Learning Network MLN Matters, “Reduce Risk of Opioid Overdose Deaths by Avoiding and Reducing Co-Prescribing Benzodiazepines (PDF)"