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New Jersey may limit opioid prescribing

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The New Jersey General Assembly is slated to vote Thursday on legislation that would force sweeping changes in opioid prescribing among doctors in the state, three days after the state’s Senate unanimously passed a similar bill. 

Together, Senate Bill 3 and Assembly Bill 3 would limit doctors’ ability to issue first-time opioid prescriptions for more than five days; mandate that doctors create a pain-management treatment plan regarding the use of opioids and review prescriptions every three months; and require doctors to obtain a written record that the risks of taking opioids had been discussed with the patient, among other changes. 

Although the law does not mention workers compensation, it would impact doctors treating injured workers under workers comp claims, said Mark Pew, senior vice president at Prium, a Duluth, Georgia-based medical cost management firm.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has made statements to the press over the past several months, urging the state Legislature to tackle the opioid problem in the state.