AffirmHealth Blog


What Tennessee Clinicians Should Know About Prescribing Opioids: A Legislative Update

Jul 24, 2018 10:01:00 AM by Jody Lutz and Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Tennessee, opioid prescribing, opioid legislation, fentanyl

Starting July 1, 2018 doctors who prescribe opioids in Tennessee face stricter guidelines and checkpoints before beginning acute or long term opioid therapy (COT: Chronic Opioid Therapy) for their patients. Additionally, the new laws will incentivize offenders to complete substance use treatment programs in prison and make dealing fentanyl and other dangerous substances second-degree murder when it causes a death. Recovery high schools, partial dispensing of opioid prescriptions and Buprenorphine prescribing restrictions are also included.

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What's in the Cup: A Urine Drug Testing Primer

Apr 24, 2018 5:07:00 AM by Jody Lutz and Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, Urine Drug Testing

Urine drug testing (UDT) is a critical tool for patients on chronic opioid therapy.  It is also one of the most misunderstood. 

As most states have updated their opioid prescribing guidelines over the past two years, nearly every one now includes a requirement to conduct urine drug screening in certain populations. Unfortunately, many of these recommendations have been developed in isolation with variances across the level of testing to conduct, testing frequency, and guidelines required for medical necessity.

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