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Florida, Michigan, and Tennessee are the latest states to enact legislation aimed at limiting the amount of opioid medications physicians can prescribed at any one time for acute pain. In Michigan, prescribers cannot write more than a 7-day supply; Florida draws the line at 3 days and makes physicians and pharmacists consult the state prescription drug monitoring database to review a patient’s prescription history. Tennessee let’s pharmacists fill only half the amount of opioids a prescription is written for at one time, and physicians are required to document specific reasons why the patient is being prescribed opiates. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives voted its approval of the Patients and Communities Act (HR 6), which will serve as a vehicle for multiple House-passed bills concerning the ongoing opioid crisis. That bill moves to the Senate this month, but in its current form it includes instructions for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to evaluate the use of telehealth services in treating substance abuse disorder; reverses a reimbursement reduction for postsurgical injections as an alternative to opioids in ambulatory settings; and requires e-prescribing for controlled substances under Medicare Part D in most circumstances, among other stipulations.

More States—and Congress—Take Action on Opioid Prescriptions