MMA & Quality Counts Join Forces to Assist Prescribers with Compliance with Chapter 488

Created on: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Last Thursday, MMA and Quality Counts hosted an educational session to assist prescribers in compliance with the new Maine law limiting opioid scripts prescribed for pain. More than 75 people attended and heard from a variety of experts on the law and the medicine. The first part of the new law takes effect on July 29, 2016. The educational program was part of the Caring for ME initiative sponsored by MMA and Quality Counts.

In addition to hearing from MMA attorneys on the technicalities of the new law, attendees also heard from medical experts on subjects ranging from compassionate tapering to conducting functional assessments. Peter Leighton, M.D., an internist practicing in Bridgton, spoke of his personal experience in prescribing Suboxone and urged physicians to consider becoming Suboxone prescribers. Stephen Hull, M.D. from Mercy Hospital spoke on the benefits of using a multi-disciplinary, team-based approach to pain management. Other presenters included Noah Nesin, M.D., Lisa Letourneau, M.D., M.P.H., Christopher Pezzullo D.O., Heather Skolfield, Clare Desrosiers, Thomas E. Sullivan, M.D., Elizabeth Fowlie Mock, M.D., M.P.H., Eva Quirion, N.P., Jessica Bates, Pharm.D., Eric Haram, L.A.D.C., and Erika Pierce, MMSc., PA-C. Most of the presentations have been recorded and will be placed on the Quality Counts website.  

The first part of the law limiting daily dosages of opioid medication to 100 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) will take effect on July 29. This requirement is subject to several exceptions and can be overridden based on documented medical necessity until January 1, 2017. The provision does not apply to cancer pain, medication dispensed and administered in a hospital, nursing facility or emergency room, hospice care, or palliative care. A summary of all the provisions in the bill can be found on the MMA website where a new page has been dedicated to the law.

MMA lawyers are available to present a one hour CME program on the new law to a medical staff, specialty society or other prescribing groups. We can be reached at

Add Comment

Name (*)
Email (*)
Article Title (*)
Message (*)
*Required Fields