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Unread 12-23-2016, 06:43 AM   #1
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Default New law in TN about bupe clinics

2017 law requires TN Suboxone clinics to apply for licensing

OHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – A new set of rules and regulations for Suboxone Addiction Treatment Centers is on its way to the state of Tennessee.

Suboxone is a drug used to treat opiate addiction. The dozens of Suboxone prescribers across our region will soon have to apply for a license.

“We want high quality care but we understand there needs to be proper oversight with that,” Paul Trivette of the Tennessee Recovery Coalition said.

The legislation signed back in April addresses Suboxone or Buprenophrine misuse.

As of Jan. 1 the currently unregulated clinics have to apply for a license. Requirements include things like a financial statement, an $810 annual licensing fee and proof of a physician.

“It’s going to more or less bring a guarantee that these facilities are operating under the best practices of addiction medicine,” Trivette said.

If they don’t meet the requirements for a license, they have to close their doors.

Dr. Vance Shaw treats nearly 250 patients at the High Point Clinic in Johnson City and he said he understands if not everyone is on board with this legislation.

“Traditionally people who suffer from addiction tend to have problems with crime. People need to be educated about this subject and realize that once people are on medication assisted treatment they’re just as normal as you and me,” Dr. Shaw said.

Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus tells News Channel 11 nearly 8 out of 10 autopsies he reads in Sullivan County are drug addiction related.

“The presence of Suboxone along with the pain medications, they’re so readily available in our area they’re causing an uptick in crime, uptick in addiction, increase in deaths,” Staubus said.

He said he’s glad there are rules and regulations in place but he’s concerned they don’t go far enough and they might need some work. He hopes this legislative session that they will reign in the people who misuse Suboxone.

Prescribers can start applying for licenses as early as Thursday, with less than three weeks till a change in law aims to curb our region’s opiate addiction epidemic.

Senator Yager of Roane County, TN sponsored the legislation. The Tennessee Dept. of Mental Health final rules will go through the Government Operations Committee in Nashville, Thursday.


More about that:
New TN law will allow the state to investigate complaints at Suboxone clinics

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL)- Some Suboxone Clinics in Tennessee may have to change the way they do business to comply with a new state law that goes into effect January 12. For the first time, the state will have the power to regulate the doctors and clinics that prescribe the addiction medication by requiring many of them to apply for a license.

Under the new law, clinics will have to provide patients with individual treatment plans, care and drug testing. Clinics will also have to implement a plan cut down on drug diversion. State investigators will also have the authority to conduct annual inspections and investigate complaints at clinics.

“There’s a few things that we need to tighten up but the majority of everything that’s required we are already doing prior to it even becoming law,” said Penny McElroy, business development director at Watauga Recovery Centers Incorporated. WRC treats roughly 400 patients with addiction at its Johnson City location, prescribing Suboxone. “They’re [patients] getting drug tested every time they come in. They’re also having their pharmacy records reviewed to make sure they’re not diverting medication or getting medication from another source.”
WRC said they offer a wide range of services to their patients, including counseling, which is required under the new state rules. McElroy said, “We don’t really believe in treating just the illness by giving medication that’s why at Watauga Recovery Center we have so many other services because it’s not just making the cravings go away, it’s changing the behavior of the patient so they don’t continue to do this harmful behavior.

McElroy said she believes the new law will identify clinics with questionable operations. “There have been instances with physicians and other places that have not been above board in their prescribing habits… I think this will really go a long way in helping the diversion factor that we suffer from in East Tennessee as well as making sure that these patients are taken care of in the best way possible.”

While Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus thinks the law is a step in the right direction he has some concerns about the rules. The only clinics that must obtain a license are ones where 50 percent and 150 or more patients are being prescribed products containing buprenorphine, one of the active ingredients in Suboxone. Staubus said, “Why would you allow clinics and operations, smaller than that, to escape all these good rules and regulations you put into place?”

He said he is also concerned about what consequences clinics will face if they violate the mandates. “There ought to be an emphasis in the rules and regulations that should be geared towards a drug free sobriety… then that should be directed and manifested by the provider, not the patient. The provider should work towards that if possible,” Staubus said.

Staubus said he plans to take his concerns to lawmakers and lobbyists to see if any changes can be made to the law. “I’m hoping that this is just building a foundation and there [are] more steps that will come into play, either administratively or legislatively that will address the concerns that I have.”
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NancyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-28-2016, 01:11 PM   #2
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“There ought to be an emphasis in the rules and regulations that should be geared towards a drug free sobriety then that should be directed and manifested by the provider, not the patient. The provider should work towards that if possible,” Staubus said.

They just don't get it yet, do they? Please, folks who have the disease of diabetes don't work toward becoming "drug free"-some do but most need to continue with the drug, insulin, for the rest of their lives. Imagine a clinic telling a patient that they were going to be limited in the time they could be on insulin. It is so sad that there are so many ignorant, yes, I used that word, lawmakers who have no business meddling in the medical field.

Stigma, self-righteousness, arrogance, and just plain ole ignorance is shining brightly. So sad...

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