New Pain Medication Law

Where are you sending your chronic pain patients?

Florida’s new opioid law, which took effect July 31, 2018, limits opioid prescribing for primary care and internal medicine physicians, and others who do not specialize in pain management. We want to be your chronic pain management provider of choice.

Know the new opioid law

The law limits you to prescribing Schedule II opioids for acute pain patients for three days. This can be extended to seven days based on your professional judgment, but you must document “ACUTE PAIN EXCEPTION” on both the patient’s record and prescription. You must also indicate a lack of alternative treatment, and justify your decision to deviate from the three-day supply rule.

Florida HB 21 affects providers in other ways

  • It requires checking a patient’s identity and history in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (E-FORSCE) before writing each prescription.
  • It increases penalties for those who provide medically unnecessary drugs:  The Florida Department of Health will issue a non-disciplinary citation to a prescriber who fails to consult E-FORSCE before prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance. Subsequent offenses subject the practitioner to disciplinary action by their respective board. It is a first-degree misdemeanor to knowingly fail to report the dispensing of a controlled substance.
  • It requires a concurrent prescription of an emergency opioid antagonist (e.g. Suboxone) for patients receiving “Schedule II controlled substances” to alleviate traumatic injury pain with a 9+ severity score.
  • It requires every DEA-registered provider to take a board-approved, two-hour continuing education course as part of licensing in order to continue prescribing controlled substances.

The law is unclear on several points – do you know what to do?

While the spirit of HB 21 is understandable in light of the ongoing opioid crisis, some provisions were left undefined:

  • Whether a provider must see a patient in person or can call in a prescription for any controlled substance.
  • How to prove a “lack of alternative treatment” in order to write a 7-day prescription.
  • Whether it is necessary to prescribe an emergency opioid antagonist when prescribing a non-opioid Schedule II controlled substance. The law does not make a distinction.
  • How to comply with the law before the Jan. 31, 2019 continuing education course deadline.

A simple mistake or misunderstanding can cost you a penalty.

A trusted leader in pain management

Physician Partners of America Pain Relief Group invites you to refer your chronic pain patients to us.

With convenient offices throughout Florida, we are fast-growing leaders in interventional pain management for chronic conditions.

We offer a wide range of interventional pain management treatment and procedures. These include orthopedic and minimally invasive laser spine surgery, injections and nerve blocks, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve stimulation.

We take extra steps to prevent addiction:

Risk assessment evaluations – including a patient questionnaire, UDA, ADB monitoring and reconciliation, and pharmacogenomics.

Antidotes offered with every opioid prescription – PPOA has been writing prescriptions for emergency opioid antagonists since 2013, long before the new law took effect.

Patient convenience – Same-day appointments and transportation are available.

We look forward to the opportunity to serve you and your valued patients.


Call Toll Free 1 (866) 572 - 4655

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