W.Va. to measure, rank physicians on opioid prescribing

The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy plans to roll out an opioid "prescriber report card" system, according to a report in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The system would rank physicians within their specialties by how many painkiller prescriptions they write. The rankings will not be public, and physicians will only be able to see their numerical ranking within their own specialty, according to the report.

That's because the program is meant to be educational, not disciplinary, according to the report. The pharmacy board hopes it can combine this program with others — such as a drug monitoring program that would provide physicians with a "morphine milligram equivalent" score for each patient based on the patient's prescription history. This is intended to give physicians a common denominator to evaluate the level of painkillers each patient is on.

The CDC recommends a maximum of 90 morphine milligram equivalents per patient per day, but West Virginia does not have a legal cap on the amount of painkillers a patient can take, according to the report. The pharmacy board hopes to eventually integrate these resources into providers' EHRs, according to the report.


More articles on integration and physician issues:

High costs pose barriers to opioid alternatives
3 in 4 physicians say their organization is not addressing burnout
90-year-old physician joins Abbott Northwestern nurses' picket

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