PROP Act Effectively Ends Pain Scale

November 23, 2016 10:44 AM | Sally Winkelman

CMS Untethers Pain Quality Metrics from Reimbursement

Until now, pain management questions on patient satisfaction surveys have been seen by some physicians as a barrier to moving toward optimal use of opioids in emergency care.  Many thanks to our member, Dr. Timothy Westlake, for working with Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis) on legislation known as the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act, which prohibits those pain management questions on satisfaction surveys from being used to calculate Medicare reimbursement. 

Due to the support seen for the PROP Act as well as feedback from the medical community during the comment period, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule implementing provisions of the PROP Act to help curb the opioid epidemic.

“I applaud the administration for implementing my bipartisan, commonsense solution to fight the opioid epidemic,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  During the Committee’s field hearing in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, in April, Dr. Westlake, the Vice Chairman of the State of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, testified that the PROP Act is “the single-most important piece of legislation reform that [policymakers] could do.”  

“Physicians must be free to exercise their best judgment when prescribing the proper level of pain medication – that’s what patients and taxpayers expect,” said Johnson.

Wisconsin, ACEP has developed Opioid Prescribing Guidelines specific to emergency medicine. Members are encouraged to download and post these guidelines, and also to attend the WACEP 2017 Spring Symposium on March 28 in Madison when up-to-date education and information on opioid prescribing will be presented.