Industrial Commission Seeks Feedback on Draft Opioid Prescribing Rules

The North Carolina Industrial Commission has issued draft rules for the utilization of opioids and pain management for workers’ compensation claims and is seeking your input by next Wednesday, Dec. 6. Read the draft rules.

The draft rules are a product of the Workers’ Compensation Opioid Task Force that was formed by the Commission last February to study and recommend solutions to the opioid epidemic as it relates to workers’ compensation claims. The Task Force includes physicians, public health professionals, hospital representatives, attorneys, employers, injured employees, insurance carriers and other stakeholders. The Task Force studied the state’s recently adopted STOP Act as well as the CDC’s opioid prescribing guidelines and other states’ opioid prescribing rules for workers’ compensation claims before drafting the rules.

The draft rules build on the requirements of the STOP Act with additional provisions, including:

  • Specific first prescription, acute phase and chronic phase protocols.
  • Limits on morphine equivalent dose per day.
  • Number of days’ supply per opioid prescription.
  • Number and types of opioids prescribed.
  • Checking the state’s Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS).
  • Administering urine drug testing.
  • Assessing employee’s risk of opioid-related harm using screening tool.
  • Special provisions when prescribing benzodiazepines, carisoprodol, opioid antagonists, as well as non-pharmacological pain treatment and dependence or addiction referrals.

This Executive Summary provides an overview of what the Task Force has proposed. You may submit your comments by Dec. 6 to MEREDITH.HENDERSON@IC.NC.GOV.


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