Provider Alert! Texas Medical Board Emergency Rule re: Issuance of Prescriptions During COVID-19 Pandemic
Attention: All Providers and Pharmacies
Effective Date: June 12, 2020
Call to action: On June 5, 2020, the Texas Medical Board’s (TMB) Executive Committee, with advice and direction from the Governor’s Office, adopted rules on an emergency basis related to the issuance of certain prescriptions during the COVID-19 disaster.
The emergency rule prohibits treatment of chronic pain with scheduled drugs through use of telemedicine medical services unless:
- i) a patient is an established chronic pain patient of the physician and is seeking telephone refill of an existing prescription, and the physician determines that such telemedicine treatment is needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; or
- ii) the treatment is otherwise allowed under federal and state law.
If a patient is treated for chronic pain with scheduled drugs through the use of telemedicine medical services, the patient’s medical records must document the exception and the reason that a telemedicine visit was conducted instead of an in-person visit. A physician, when determining whether to utilize telemedicine medical services for the treatment of chronic pain with controlled substances as permitted above must give due consideration to factors that include date of the patient’s last in-person visit, patient co-morbidities, and occupational-related COVID risks. These are not the sole, exclusive, or exhaustive factors a physician should consider under the rule.
TMB will continue to provide any updates on COVID-19 issues on the TMB website at www.tmb.state.tx.us/page/coronavirus.
How this impacts providers: Providers should assess how the emergency rule affects their practice.
Next steps for providers: Providers should stay vigilant about additional COVID-19 communication.
If you have any questions, please email Provider Network Management at: email@example.com.