April 17, 2017

BC doctors can access learning and support tools to help patients manage chronic pain, to comply with the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons opioid prescribing standards, and to help address substance use issues in their own communities. These include:

  • PSP Pain Management learning module: This opportunity provides information on, EMR enabled pain tools; promoting patient self-management; better identifying, assessing, managing, and communicating with patients living with chronic pain; and effectively collaborating with patients and their families, pain specialists, allied health professionals, and non-governmental agencies to achieve optimal patient outcomes. Online tools and resources include: case studies, including an opioid management case study; clinical tools, including an opioid risk tool, physician resources, and  patient information.
  • GPSC GP Mental Health Planning Fee (G14043): This fee is payable upon the development and documentation of a patient’s Mental Health Plan for patients resident in the community. Patients must have a confirmed Axis I diagnosis of sufficient severity and acuity to warrant the development of a management plan, and both Alcohol Dependency (303) and Substance Abuse (non-nicotine) (304) qualify as Axis I diagnoses. If this fee is billed for a patient with either Alcohol or Substance Abuse issues, all other criteria of the fee must be met. For more information, please refer to the GPSC's mental health billing guide.
  • Pharmacare: Effective February 1, 2017, PharmaCare will cover Methadose™ for maintenance and buprenorphine/naloxone under its Psychiatric Medications Plan (Plan G). By covering these drugs under Plan G, 100% PharmaCare coverage may be available to more individuals with lower incomes. For more information, please refer to: Coverage of Methadose™ and Buprenorphine/Naloxone under Plan G and PharmaCare Newsletter.
  • New provincial substance use treatment beds: Thirty new provincial substance use treatment beds are now open and accepting referrals for adults from around the province. Twenty of the new beds will be provided by Phoenix Drug & Alcohol Recovery and Education Society in Surrey, and 10 will be provided by Cedars Discovery Centre in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. The contracted providers are managed by BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. Click here to learn more.
  • Withdrawal management Guideline:  The Ministry of Health has created two new guidelines (one for adults and one for youth) for biopsychosocialspiritual withdrawal management as part of the continuum of care for substance use. The biopsychosocialspiritual model of care seeks to capture the full range of underlying causes of substance use. Recovery plans developed from such assessments seek to address the impacts of substance use on an individual’s physical and mental health, social support circle, and spiritual or moral values. The new provincial guidelines suggest that withdrawal management is most effective when it is part of a long-term wellness and recovery plan, through which individuals may be linked with ongoing support services that may include a combination of psychosocial treatment interventions, psychosocial supports, residential treatment, and pharmacotherapies. Click here for more information.
  • Updated MSP Fee Items for OAT: 00039, 15039, and 15040
  • BC Centre on Substance Use: Did you know? Buprenorphine/Naloxone, an evidence-based bulletin
  • BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC): Toward the Heart and Harm Reduction
  • Health Authorities:

As well, through their local divisions of family practice, doctors are creating and compiling resources on opioid prescribing and alternative pain management modalities.  Some of the resources are intended to support doctors with decision-making in the prescribing process, and some of the resources and community links are for doctors to provide to patients on alternative pain management strategies. Click here to learn more.