Initial Guidance on House Bill 2174 (HB 2174)

Texas Medical Board 333 GUADALUPE, TOWER 3, SUITE 610 • AUSTIN TX 78701 PHONE: (512) 305-7084 Stephen Brint Carlton, J.D., Executive Director 30 August 2019 SUBJECT: Initial Guidance on House Bill 2174 (HB 2174) To Whom It May Concern, The Texas Medical Board is aware there may be some confusion and apprehension surrounding House Bill 2174 (HB 2174), also known as “the 10-day opioid prescribing limit for acute pain”. HB 2174 is effective September 1, 2019. The new language is found in Health and Safety Code Section 481.07636. Part (a) defines acute pain as “the normal, predicted, physiological response to a stimulus such as a trauma, disease, and operative procedures…[which] is time limited.” Part (b) reads, “For the treatment of acute pain, a practitioner may not: (1) issue a prescription for an opioid in an amount that exceeds a 10-day supply; or (2) provide for a refill of an opioid.” The Texas Medical Board interprets this section to mean a practitioner may write an opioid prescription for up to 10 days without a refill. However, the patient may see the practitioner in a follow up appointment and receive another opioid prescription for up to 10 days. The law does not limit how many times this may occur. The Texas Medical Board does not interpret this section to limit patients to a maximum of 10 days of opioids for acute pain without the possibility of any further opioids for that specific issue or “episode of care”.
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