- Providers weighing in on the CDC's proposed opioid prescribing guidelines question whether they would truly be voluntary.
- Additional discussion is emerging following the CDC's request last week at a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, for a new work group to review the guidelines, Modern Healthcare notes.
- The CDC had previously intended to issue the final guidelines this month, but delayed amid physician criticism of the guidelines. The comment period is slated to end this week, on January 13th.
The main debate comes down to whether physicians will be held to the guidlines in some form, despite the CDC's emphasis the guidelines are voluntary and the agency is not a regulator.
Physicians suggest, however, licensure boards and other healthcare entities are likely to adopt the guidelines. The concern is they will lose the ability to effectively manage patients suffering chronic pain, or will face repurcussions for going outside the guidelines.
"The CDC imprimatur makes it more likely that these guidelines become de facto requirements through adoption by state health departments, professional licensing bodies, or insurers," the American Cancer Society stated.
Indeed, even voluntary CDC guidelines could legally be used in a determination of whether a doctor followed the national standard of care, D.C. medical malpractice attorney Dr. Michael Wilson told Modern Healthcare.