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Improving Access to Controlled Substances in Long-Term Care

Regulations regarding nurses as prescribing agents of physicians in long-term care facilities are more restrictive than in the hospital setting, be...
  • Overview

    Regulations regarding nurses as prescribing agents of physicians in long-term care facilities are more restrictive than in the hospital setting, because controlled substance licenses are not currently approved for nursing homes in most states. These restrictions can make it challenging for long-term care patients to receive timely access to narcotics. Dr. Matthew Wayne, medical director, geriatric medicine, University Hospital Richmond Medical Center in Richmond Heights, Ohio, and assistant professor of medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, suggests revisions to some provisions of the Controlled Substances Act in order to ensure long-term care patients have access to pain medications when they need them the most. What hurdles are the most significant impediments to improving patient care with appropriate access to narcotics, and how can medical professionals best navigate the waters until revisions are made to the current law? Dr. Eric Tangalos hosts.

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