WSR 98-21-079



(Medical Quality Assurance Commission)

[Filed October 21, 1998, 11:00 a.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The treatment of chronic pain.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.130.180(6), 18.71.017.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The commission desires to educate practitioners on the need to distinguish between legitimate medical care and questionable practice, while carrying out their duty to protect the public from improper prescribing, as well as issues such as addiction, tolerance, side effects and diversion. While the commission currently has in place the guidelines for management of pain, practitioners have indicated they feel policies and guidelines are inadequate protection against injudicious discipline for treating chronic pain. Therefore, the Medical Quality Assurance Commission is seeking to put pain management language into rule to alleviate concerns regarding effective management of chronic pain.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery and Podiatric Medical Board, see below.

Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative, the commission, in coordination with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery and the Podiatric Medical Board, will conduct two joint public meetings to allow interested persons to participate in the development of these rules. In addition, interested parties, which include licensees, the Washington State Medical Association, the University of Washington School of Medicine, all county medical societies, and private citizens, will be notified by mail.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. To submit written information: Susan Anthony, Program Manager, Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance Commission, P.O. Box 47866, Olympia, WA 98504-7866, phone (360) 236-4787, fax (360) 586-4573.

October 9, 1998

Bonnie King

Executive Director