PMP Checks Won’t Be Necessary for In-Facility Medications, TMB Says
By David Doolittle

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Thanks to Texas Medical Association advocacy, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) has refocused its guidance on when physicians will be required to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) before prescribing certain medications starting March 1. 

On Friday, TMB updated previous guidance released last week based on concerns and comments made by physicians representing TMA and other specialty societies at a stakeholder meeting on Tuesday. The questions revolve around when physicians must check the PMP, known as PMP Aware, when prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or carisoprodol to a patient who is admitted to a facility, such as an emergency department, nursing home, or hospital. 

The updated guidance says, “A mandatory PMP check is not required before or during an inpatient stay, such as a hospital admission, or during and outpatient encounter setting, such as an emergency department or ambulatory surgical center visit.” TMB says physicians still must check the PMP – or delegate the task “to any legally authorized personnel” – when prescribing those substances “for take-home use” when the patient leaves or is discharged from the facility. 

“We spoke, and the board listened and acted quickly,” said TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD. “On behalf of all my physician colleagues around the state, I want to thank TMB President Sherif Zaafran, MD, TMB Executive Director Brint Carlton, and all the board members for their prompt response to our serious concerns.” 

Beginning March 1, state law requires all prescribers to set up an account with PMP Aware and check the PMP prior to prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. An account allows physicians to check a patient’s prescription history for information that indicates illicit activity, drug abuse, drug diversion, or doctor shopping. 

For more information on the law, how to use the PMP, and a link to the CME program Texas PMP Requirements: Who, What, When, and How (free for TMA members), see TMA’s online Prescription Monitoring Program Resource Center.

Last Updated On

February 21, 2020

Originally Published On

February 21, 2020

David Doolittle

Editor

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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