Management of Pain Act - WV Board of Medicine (2023)

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Section
§30-3A-1.Definitions.
§30-3A-2.Limitation on disciplinary sanctions or criminal punishment related to management of pain.

§30-3A-3.Acts subjuct to discipline or prosecution.
§30-3A-4.Abnormal or unusual prescribing practices.

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§30-3A-1.Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the words or terms defined in this section have the meanings ascribed to them. These definitions are applicable unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context.

“Accepted guideline” is a care or practice guideline for pain management developed by a nationally recognized clinical or professional association or a specialty society or government- sponsored agency that has developed practice or care guidelines based on original research or on review of existing research and expert opinion. An accepted guideline also includes policy or position statements relating to pain management issued by any West Virginia board included in§30-1-1 et seq. of this code with jurisdiction over various health care practitioners. Guidelines established primarily for purposes of coverage, payment, or reimbursement do not qualify as accepted practice or care guidelines when offered to limit treatment options otherwise covered by the provisions of this article.

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“Board” or “licensing board” means the West Virginia Board of Medicine, the West Virginia Board of Osteopathy, the West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses, the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, the West Virginia Board of Optometry, or the West Virginia Board of Dentistry.

“Nurse” means a registered nurse licensed in the State of West Virginia pursuant to the provisions of §30-7-1 et seq. of this code.

“Pain” means an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.

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“Pain-relieving controlled substance” includes, but is not limited to, an opioid or other drug classified as a Schedule II through V controlled substance and recognized as effective for pain relief, and excludes any drug that has no accepted medical use in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision including, but not limited to, any drug classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.

“Pharmacist” means a registered pharmacist licensed in the State of West Virginia pursuant to the provisions of §30-5-1 et seq. of this code.

“Prescriber” shall mean:

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  1. A physician licensed pursuant to the provisions of §30-3-1 et seq. or §30-14-1 et seq. of this code;
  2. An advanced practice registered nurse with prescriptive authority as set forth in §30-7- 15a of this code;
  3. A dentist licensed pursuant to the provisions of §30-4-1 et seq. of this code; and
  4. An optometrist licensed pursuant to the provisions of §30-8-1 et seq. of this code.

§30-3A-2. Limitation on disciplinary sanctions or criminal punishment related to management of pain.

  1. A prescriber is not subject to disciplinary sanctions by a licensing board or criminal punishment by the state for prescribing, administering, or dispensing pain-relieving controlled substances for the purpose of alleviating or controlling pain if:
  1. In the case of a dying patient experiencing pain, the prescriber practices in accordance with an accepted guideline as defined in §30-3A-1 of this code and discharges his or her professional obligation to relieve the dying patient’s pain and promote the dignity and autonomy of the dying patient; or
  1. In the case of a patient who is not dying and is experiencing pain, the prescriber discharges his or her professional obligation to relieve the patient’s pain, if the prescriber can demonstrate by reference to an accepted guideline that his or her practice substantially complied with that accepted guideline. Evidence of substantial compliance with an accepted guideline may be rebutted only by the testimony of a clinical expert. Evidence of noncompliance with an accepted guideline is not sufficient alone to support disciplinary or criminal action.
  1. A health care provider, as defined in §55-7B-2 of this code, with prescriptive authority is not subject to disciplinary sanctions by a licensing board or criminal punishment by the state for declining to prescribe, or declining to continue to prescribe, any controlled substance to a patient which the health care provider with prescriptive authority is treating if the health care provider with prescriptive authority in the exercise of reasonable prudent judgment believes the patient is misusing the controlled substance in an abusive manner or unlawfully diverting a controlled substance legally prescribed for their use.
  1. A licensed registered professional nurse is not subject to disciplinary sanctions by a licensing board or criminal punishment by the state for administering pain-relieving controlled substances to alleviate or control pain, if administered in accordance with the orders of a licensed physician.
  1. A licensed pharmacist is not subject to disciplinary sanctions by a licensing board or criminal punishment by the state for dispensing a prescription for a pain-relieving controlled substance to alleviate or control pain, if dispensed in accordance with the orders of a licensed physician.
  1. For purposes of this section, the term “disciplinary sanctions” includes both remedial and punitive sanctions imposed on a licensee by a licensing board, arising from either formal or informal proceedings.
    1. The provisions of this section apply to the treatment of all patients for pain, regardless of the patient’s prior or current chemical dependency or addiction. The board may develop and issue policies or guidelines establishing standards and procedures for the application of this article to the care and treatment of persons who are chemically dependent or addicted.
    §30-3A-3.

    Acts subject to discipline or prosecution.

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    1. Nothing in this article shall prohibit disciplinary action or criminal prosecution of a prescriber for:
    1. Failing to maintain complete, accurate, and current records documenting the physical examination and medical history of the patient, the basis for the clinical diagnosis of the patient, and the treatment plan for the patient;
    1. Writing a false or fictitious prescription for a controlled substance scheduled in §60A-2-201 et seq. of this code; or
    1. Prescribing, administering, or dispensing a controlled substance in violation of the provisions of the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. §§801, et seq. or chapter §60A-1-101 et seq. of this code;
    2. Diverting controlled substances prescribed for a patient to the physician’s own personal use or
    1. Abnormal or unusual prescribing or dispensing patterns, or both as identified by the Controlled Substance Monitoring Program set forth in §60A-9-1 et seq. of this code. These prescribing and dispensing patterns may be discovered in the report filed with the appropriate board as required by section §60A-9-1 et seq. of this code.
    1. Nothing in this article shall prohibit disciplinary action or criminal prosecution of a nurse or pharmacist for:
    1. Administering or dispensing a controlled substance in violation of the provisions of the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. §§801, et seq. or §60A-1-101 of this code; or
    1. Diverting controlled substances prescribed for a patient to the nurse’s or pharmacist’s own personal use.
    §30-3A-4.

    Abnormal or unusual prescribing practices.

    1. Upon receipt of the quarterly report set forth in §60A-9-1 et seq. of this code, the licensing board shall notify the prescriber that he or she has been identified as a potentially unusual or abnormal prescriber. The board may take appropriate action, including, but not limited to, an investigation or disciplinary action based upon the findings provided in the report.
    1. A licensing board may upon receipt of credible and reliable information independent of the quarterly report as set forth in §60A-9-1 et seq. of this code initiate an investigation into any alleged abnormal prescribing or dispensing practices of a licensee.
    1. The licensing boards and prescribers shall have all rights and responsibilities in their practice acts.

    FAQs

    Do patients have a right to pain management? ›

    “Article 2. The right of all people to have acknowledgment of their pain and to be informed about how it can be assessed and managed. “Article 3. The right of all people in pain to have access to appropriate assessment and treatment of the pain by adequately trained health professionals.”

    How often should prescribed pain relief be reviewed? ›

    When a regimen is stable and the patient reports substantial relief of symptoms and where additional concerns do not dictate otherwise, opioid treatment should be reviewed at least six monthly.

    How do you mentally manage chronic pain? ›

    Tips on coping with chronic pain
    1. Manage your stress. Emotional and physical pain are closely related, and persistent pain can lead to increased levels of stress. ...
    2. Talk to yourself constructively. Positive thinking is a powerful tool. ...
    3. Become active and engaged. ...
    4. Find support. ...
    5. Consult a professional.

    How do you deal with severe physical pain? ›

    10 ways to reduce pain
    1. Get some gentle exercise. ...
    2. Breathe right to ease pain. ...
    3. Read books and leaflets on pain. ...
    4. Counselling can help with pain. ...
    5. Distract yourself. ...
    6. Share your story about pain. ...
    7. The sleep cure for pain. ...
    8. Take a course.

    What should I not tell my pain management doctor? ›

    Don'ts: Things Pain Patients Wish Doctors Would Avoid
    • Don't label patients. ...
    • Don't tell patients the pain is 'in our heads. ...
    • Don't tell us to just 'live with the pain.

    Can doctors deny you pain medication? ›

    As someone with a diagnosed, painful condition, your care team has a moral and ethical obligation to help you. In saying this, your physician can refuse you pain medication or deny you as a patient.

    How long can you take prescription pain medication? ›

    You should not use a narcotic drug for more than 3 to 4 months, unless your provider instructs you otherwise. Narcotic pain medicines may be prescribed to treat: Acute pain, such as from injuries, surgery or other procedures, and other short-term medical problems. Chronic pain, present for 3 months or more.

    How long does pain have to remain to be considered chronic? ›

    Chronic or persistent pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Most people get back to normal after pain following an injury or operation. But sometimes the pain carries on for longer or comes on without any history of an injury or operation.

    What pain relief can you take every day? ›

    Painkillers for long-term pain

    Paracetamol for adults is the simplest and safest painkiller. You could also try anti-inflammatory tablets like ibuprofen for adults as long as you don't have a condition (such as a stomach ulcer) that prevents you using them.

    What are 5 diseases that could be the cause of chronic pain? ›

    However, many cases of chronic pain are related to these conditions:
    • Low back pain.
    • Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
    • Headache.
    • Multiple sclerosis.
    • Fibromyalgia.
    • Shingles.
    • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
    9 Mar 2011

    What is the new treatment for chronic pain? ›

    Deep-brain stimulation, or DBS, may offer an alternative to existing treatments. It is already used to treat epilepsy and movement disorders, and there is emerging evidence that it may be effective for chronic pain.

    What does constant pain do to a person? ›

    Chronic pain can interfere with your daily activities, such as working, having a social life and taking care of yourself or others. It can lead to depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping, which can make your pain worse. This response creates a cycle that's difficult to break.

    What is the golden rule of treating a patient's pain? ›

    The key to pain management is to treat your patient the way you'd want to be treated.

    What are the 5 patients rights? ›

    One of the recommendations to reduce medication errors and harm is to use the “five rights”: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time.

    Do people with chronic pain have rights? ›

    Chronic pain patients have a legitimate – and often debilitating – medical condition and have a right to medically appropriate pain treatment.

    What do all patients have the right to? ›

    To courtesy, respect, dignity, and timely, responsive attention to his or her needs. To receive information from their physicians and to have opportunity to discuss the benefits, risks, and costs of appropriate treatment alternatives, including the risks, benefits and costs of forgoing treatment.

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