SMBO Clarifies Letters Sent to Prescribers Concerning OARRS Violations

Ohio law requires all prescribers of opioids or benzodiazepines to register for and consistently use Ohio’s Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS). And, Guidelines for the Management of Acute Pain Outside of Emergency Departments were established in January. Now that the law and guidance are in place, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) has begun to use OARRS data to identify and contact prescribers who have failed to register for OARRS or who demonstrate a pattern of failure to check patients in OARRS. 

In October, the SMBO contacted approximately 12,000 physicians who appeared in a report from the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy that they may be in violation of following the OARRS law. The SMBO has since clarified that the vast majority of those 12,000 physicians have non-egregious issues and minimal non-compliance matters that need to be addressed. In fact, they stated that the median number of non-checks for each prescriber was in the single digits.

The SMBO added that the intent of the letter was to encourage physicians to check their individual OARRS report, identify if/how a check was missed, and make any necessary adjustments to office procedures to prevent missed checks in the future. Often a quick review of OARRS practices can correct most issues, they said. Resources are available here.

In fewer than 1% of all instances, licensees had prescribed opioids or benzodiazepines without checking OARRS at rates that warrant additional, personalized discussion.

Medical organizations across the state, including the AMCNO, were concerned about the tone and content of the original letter and shared our concerns with the SMBO, which subsequently led to the clarified letter.

To read the SMBO’s letter for more information, click here.

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