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Michigan Hospitals are Fighting this Deadly Epidemic

Prescription drug and opioid abuse is a growing national health emergency that impacts every community in Michigan. From 1999 to 2016, the total number of overdose deaths involving any type of opioid increased more than 17 times in Michigan, from 99 to 1,689, according to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.

Michigan hospitals are helping fight this deadly epidemic by working with lawmakers, state departments, physicians and the public to raise awareness and improve clinical processes. The MHA served on the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, an effort formed by Gov. Rick Snyder, that included a comprehensive report and more than two dozen recommendations for changes in regulations and practices that could help address the growing problem of abuse in Michigan.  Also, the MHA Keystone Center has worked with hospitals to educate patients, improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs associated with opioid use, and has received national recognition for its Pain Management Collaborative in 2016. Learn more under MHA Keystone Center Efforts

Latest Updates

Michigan Opioid Law FAQ Document Updated: On March 6, 2019, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released an updated version of their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to provide clarification regarding implementation of the Michigan opioid laws.

Information Issued on Emergency Rules for Reporting Opioid Overdoses: A new set of emergency rules require hospitals to report opioid overdose statistics to the MDHHS upon request. The rules are meant to inform the public health response to the substantial increase in cases of prescription and illicit drug overdoses. The MDHHS has released a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the emergency rules and the development of a permanent rule. Members with questions about the rules and/or the FAQs should contact Sarah Lyon-Callo in the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at (517) 284-2910.

New Medication Disposal Resources Available: One of the best ways individuals can fight the opioid epidemic while protecting the environment is to properly dispose of unwanted and expired medications. The resources below are ready to share with patients and more information is available on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality website.   

How to Verify if Prescribers Have Registered for MAPS: Public Act 248 of 2017, which became effective on June 1, 2018, requires a licensed prescriber to register for MAPS before dispensing or prescribing a controlled substance. The state has developed a mechanism to verify if a licensed prescriber has registered for MAPS. To assist in ensuring all needed information is provided to state, the state has created a CSV template as a guide. The state of Michigan is requesting one point person per hospital system to avoid confusion. The MHA is collecting those names and will be turning them into the state. To turn in your health system’s point person or for more instructions on this process, email keystone@mha.org.  

Michigan Opioid Legislation Hospital Compliance Checklist Available: The Michigan Opioid Legislation Hospital Compliance Checklist was created to help guide MHA-member hospitals through the requirements of a package of bills signed into law last December in response to the opioid epidemic. Disclaimer: This document does not constitute legal advice. Please note that guidance from the state of Michigan is subject to change, and organizations are encouraged to contact legal counsel for legal advice.

Prescribing Guidelines Released for Surgeons, Emergency Departments & Dentists: The Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission released its prescribing recommendations for surgeons, emergency departments and dentists when treating acute pain. The 17-member commission was created by an executive order by Gov. Rick Snyder in June 2016 and is made up of health professionals, law enforcement officers, substance abuse treatment providers, government officials and citizens. The body serves in an advisory capacity to the governor and LARA.

Opioid Start Talking Form Now Available: The Opioid Start Talking Form from the Michigan Department of Health And Human Services is now available for providers.  Public Act 246 of 2017 requires the use of a Start Talking Form on June 1, 2018. Download the Word template version of the form or access it under the Prescribers tab on the MDHHS's website. Contact the MHA or MDHHS with any questions.

Information for Hospitals and Physicians

Funding Available for MAPS/EHR Integration

The state is providing funding for integrating the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) with the electronic health records (EHRs) and pharmacy dispensation systems of hospitals, physician groups and pharmacies across the state to help combat the misuse of prescription drugs. To take advantage of the funding available for integration, the MHA urges hospitals to request software integration from LARA.

Sign up for integration

MSMS: Need to Know Opioid Legislation FAQs
The Michigan State Medical Society has compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the recently enacted opioid legislation from the state of Michigan. 

Active Opioid Legislation

The MHA continues to work with elected officials on addressing the opioid issue on behalf of Michigan hospitals and patients. Click on the bill names below for the latest information on active legislation surrounding the opioid crisis in Michigan.

  • HB 4056: Allow Corrections Officers to use Opioid Antagonists
  • HB 4057: Earmark of Liquor Tax Revenues for Substance Use Disorder Programs
  • HB 4217: Require E-prescribing for Controlled Substances
  • HB 4224 & 4225: Exempts Hospice patients from the Bona Fide Prescriber-Patient Relationship Requirement
  • HB 4345: First Responder Drug Overdose Training
  • HB 4346: Peace Officer Drug Overdose Training
  • SB 20 & 21: Controlled Substance Causing Death - Modify Venue for Prosecution
  • SB 127 & 128: Exempts Hospice patients from the Bona Fide Prescriber-Patient Relationship Requirement
  • SB 199 & 200: Allow Library Employees to use Opioid Antagonists

MHA Keystone Center Efforts

The MHA Keystone Center launched the MHA Keystone: Pain Management collaborative in 2015 to address the growing concerns surrounding opioid overuse in the hospital setting, develop opioid prescribing guidelines and distribute resources for patients. The initiative aimed to improve pain management, decrease opioid use, and educate patients about safe pain management. It received national recognition for its progress toward those goals which resulted in improved patient care and reduced healthcare costs.  

According to a 1997 study, the costs associated with over-sedated patients was more than $5,000 per occurrence, as it results in respiratory depression, prolonged recovery and length of stay, and other clinical interventions. To address that issue, specific interventions of the MHA Keystone: Pain Management collaborative included a focus on patient screenings to determine opioid naivety or tolerance; risk and sedation assessments; and improvement of opioid prescription practices.

From 2015-2016, the MHA Keystone Center reported a nearly 50 percent decrease in the number of patients who required reversal agents after being treated with IV opioids. This results in better outcomes and care for patients and nearly $12.97 million in cost savings in the state. Based on these outcomes, the MHA Keystone: Pain Management collaborative received national recognition in 2016.

Other efforts from the MHA Keystone Center include:

  • Developing patient educational materials around opioids in partnership with its Patient Family Advisory Committee and clinical experts
  • Working with partner organizations under the MHA Keystone Hospital Engagement Network and the Great Lakes Partnership for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Network to decrease the use of opioids and instances in opioid-related adverse events in hospitals in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
  • Participating in national opioid task forces by several MHA and MHA Keystone Center staff members. 

Members with questions about legislative issues and clinical practices around opioids can contact the MHA.

Contact Us

Tools for Patients

Medication Disposal Toolkit

MHA pamphlet about how to properly and safely dispose of drugs

MHA Member Order Form

10 Things Every Patient in Pain Should Know

Cover of booklet

Pain Management Guide

Cover of Pain Management Guide

Podcast Covers Opioid Crisis in Michigan

An episode of the MHA’s podcast, the MiCare Champion Cast, covered the opioid epidemic and new steps being taken to help prevent opioid abuse and overuse. The episode featured interviews with Paige Fults, director, advocacy, Michigan Health & Hospital Association; Kim Gaedeke, acting deputy director, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; and Robert Nolan, DO, director of emergency medicine, Lakeland Health.



MHA 100 Year Anniversary

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