Hearing on Oklahoma's Opioid Treatment Guidelines Set for Oct. 12

The Physician Advisory Committee to Oklahoma's Workers Compensation Court has set an Oct. 12 public hearing to take comments about its proposed Treatment Guidelines for Upper Extremity Treatment and proposed changes to the Guidelines for Prescription of Opioid Medications for Acute and Chronic Pain. The hearing will take place at the court's offices in Oklahoma City. The changes in the medication guidelines state that licensed psychologists may perform initial evaluation and treatment of injured workers and also administer and interpret psychometric tests, where the current guidelines do not mention they must be licensed. Licensed Clinical Social Workers also would be permitted to perform initial evaluation and treatment.

The guideline explains the safeguards and assessments to be used when prescribing opioids for acute or chronic pain. The practitioner and the injured worker must together sign a treatment agreement explaining the risks, and the guidelines say relevant clinical or laboratory studies, including drug screens, should be done randomly up to three times annually and/or as indicated.

Written comments may be submitted to the Physician Advisory Committee, c/o Bill Wiles, Workers Compensation Court, 1915 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. The guidelines are available at www.owcc.state.ok.us/index.htm. The court administers the state's Workers' Compensation Act, determining claims for compensation and also employer and insurer liability.

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