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New Michigan Controlled Substance Law Effects All Physicians and Controlled Substance Prescribers Beginning June 1, 2018

The Michigan legislature has enacted two sweeping changes to the regulations for prescribing controlled substances in Michigan. Physicians will be required to comply with three additional requirements, failure to comply may result in licensing discipline or even criminal prosecution.


Providers Must Check MAPS

Controlled Substance Law physician Beginning June 1, 2018, physicians must be registered with MAPS and are required to query MAPS (Michigan Automated Prescription System) if prescribing a controlled substance in a quantity that exceeds a three day supply. Physicians should note that this regulation applies to every controlled substance (Adderall, hydrocodone, Suboxone, etc.). Many providers may forget when prescribing schedule III-V controlled substances that they are required to register for MAPS and query MAPS. Registration for MAPS is easy, a provider can go to and register by clicking on “create account” and filling out the form with your various registration numbers (DEA, a controlled substance, NPI etc.). The State will know when MAPS is queried by reviewing the metadata associated with your MAPS account, practitioners who prescribe a high number of controlled substance prescriptions and have a low number of MAPS queries will likely receive that dreaded phone call from a Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing investigator. Failure to follow this rule could subject providers to discipline of their license and possibly criminal penalties. In order to avoid potential sanction, providers should run the MAPS report, review it, and attach it to the medical record prior to prescribing a controlled substance.


Seven Day Acute Pain Rule

Controlled Substance Law pain management Beginning July 1, 2018, if a prescriber is treating a patient for acute pain, the prescriber must not prescribe more than a seven day supply of an opioid within a seven day period according to MCL 333.7333. The crux of this rule is that a prescriber must see a patient every seven days if he or she desires to continue prescribing opiates for acute pain. Acute pain is defined as the pain typically associated with invasive procedures, trauma, and disease that usually lasts for a limited amount of time. What many providers may not realize is that violating this rule may subject providers to criminal penalties as well as licensing sanctions. MCL 333.7405, which is the criminal rule prohibiting unlawful prescribing which requires that physicians comply with MCL 333.7333. If providers wish to prescribe more than seven days supply, they must clearly document the necessity of the prescription for acute pain.


Informed Consent Required

Controlled Substance Law drugsBeginning June 1, 2018, a provider who prescribes a controlled substance that is an opioid to a patient must have the patient sign a form acknowledging that he or she received information regarding the danger of opioid addiction, how to properly dispose of unused controlled substances, the fact that the delivery of controlled substances is a felony, and the short and long-term effects of taking controlled substances while pregnant. If the patient is a minor the prescriber must have the patient sign a “start talking consent form”. The relevant forms can be found on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website, here.


Possible Consequences for Violations

Controlled Substance Law gavel

If you are a physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, dentist or other providers, you must ensure you follow these laws and train your staff to do so. If you feel that you have violated the provisions above or need assistance complying, contact our experienced health law attorneys today. Chapman Law Group is a full-service multi-state health law firm devoted to handling all of your health law needs from compliance, to audits and even health care defense.