You can improve the care of injured workers and help save lives by using best practices in the following guidelines:
- 2013 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids to Treat Pain in Injured Workers Labor and Industries
- 2015 Interagency Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain Agency Medical Directors' Group (AMDG)
- 2017 Dental Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Acute Pain Management Bree Collaborative and AMDG
We have specific prior authorization requirements for the payment of opioids.
For CME activities, please see our training catalog.
Opioid Authorization process
When is authorization needed?
- If you are prescribing opioids 6 weeks beyond the date of injury or for post-surgery. Opioid coverage will depend on your documentation of specific best practices;
- If you are prescribing non-preferred or long-acting opioids; or
- If you are prescribing more than 3-day supply for dental procedures.
What do you need to do?
- Complete the appropriate form below:
|Subacute Opioid Request Form
|Use this form to request opioid coverage between 6 weeks to 12 weeks from the date of injury or surgery.|
|Chronic Opioid Request Form
|Use this form to request opioid coverage beyond 12 weeks from the date of injury or surgery, or every 90 days for ongoing chronic opioid therapy.|
|Opioid Treatment Agreement - English
|Use this treatment agreement when starting chronic opioid therapy. It should be renewed yearly or when there is a new prescriber.|
|Opioid Treatment Agreement - Spanish
|Utilice este convenio de tratamiento al iniciar la terapia con opioides para controlar el dolor crónico. El convenio debe ser renovado cada año cuando hay un proveedor nuevo proporcionándole recetas.|
|Exception to Three-Day Limit of Opioids for Dental Procedures Request (F252-118-000)||Use this form to request authorization for opioid prescriptions which exceed 3 days' supply for dental procedures.|
Where should you send the form?
|For State Fund Claims (claim numbers beginning with A, B, C, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, X or Y)||For Self-Insured Claims (claim numbers beginning with S, T or W)|
|Fax completed form to the number(s) listed on the form.||Contact the self-insured or their third-party administrator.
There are many resources available to help you monitor your patients on chronic opioid therapy. The validated tools below can be used to track pain and function, screen for risk factors, calculate total morphine equivalent dose and understand urine drug testing (UDT).
What tools should you use?
|Screening or tracking for:||Validated tools:|
|Function and pain||2-Item Graded Chronic Pain Scale, 3-Item PEG Assessment Scale, Oswestry Disability Index or Neck Disability Index|
|Risk of opioid addiction||ORT (Opioid Risk Tool) or The Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain (SOAPP)® Version 1.0|
|Current or former substance abuse disorder||CAGE-AID (Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, Adapted to Include Drugs) or AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test)|
|Depression||PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) or GAIN-SS (Global Appraisal of Individual Needs Short Screener)|
|Morphine equivalent dose||Opioid Dose Calculator|
|Compliance with drug therapy||Urine Drug Test|
How often should you monitor your patient on chronic opioid therapy?
|Risk category per validated tool||UDT||PMP||Function and pain|
|Low risk||1/year||1/year||Every 12 weeks|
|Moderate risk||2/year||2/year||Every 12 weeks|
|High risk or opioid doses >120mg/d morphine equivalent||4/year||4/year||Monthly (every visit)|
|Aberrant behavior — lost prescriptions, multiple requests for early refills, opioids from multiple providers, unauthorized dose escalation, apparent intoxication, etc.||At time of visit
(address aberrant behaviors
in person, not by telephone)
Coaching and consultation
You can get coaching and advice for managing patients with complex chronic pain problems, especially involving opioids:
Example of benzodiazepine tapering protocols
If you are tapering benzodiazepines, here is The Everett Clinic’s benzodiazepine tapering algorithm and sample tapering plans:
- 8 weeks (20% reduction)
- 12 weeks (15% reduction)
- 16 weeks twice daily dosing
- 16 weeks once daily dosing
You can use the resources below to help your patients understand the risk and benefit of opioids, safe storage and disposal and special considerations for youth:
Continuing medical education
- Please see our training catalog
- Payment policies for structured, intensive, multidisciplinary program (SIMP) - see Chapter 34 of the current Payment Policies page
- Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing
- Prescription Monitoring Program
- From Pain Treatment to OUD: The Role of Opioid Dependence, by Dr. Mark Sullivan (video)
- Rules on opioid prescribing WAC 296-20-03030 through WAC 296-20-03085, and WAC 296-20-06101
- Washington State Department of Health's Pain Management Rules
Washington State’s Safe Medication Return program provides residents convenient options to dispose of unwanted medication – for free.
Improve the safety of our environment and communities by properly disposing of unused or expired medication. Together we can reduce the risks of accidental exposure and intentional misuse.
Here are two free options to return unused medications:
1. Mail in your unused or expired medication
- Request a free prepaid envelope here
- Place your unused medication in the envelope
- Mail the package as you would any other parcel
2. Take your unused or expired medication to a drop off site
- Find a drop off site near you here
- Deposit your medication in the kiosk at your chosen location
For more information, please visit these sites: