15 February 2010

Oklahoma restricting injections for chronic pain

Unfortunately, the article doesn't say why this was an issue in the first place

Oklahoma House gets bill restricting injections for chronic pain | NewsOK.com: "
Only physicians would be allowed to administer precise pain management injections under a bill approved Tuesday by a House committee.

The House Public Health Committee approved Senate Bill 1133 by a 14-5 vote. It now goes to the full House.
Rep. John Trebilcock, who took over authorship of the bill, said pain management injections into a patient’s spinal or neck area must be precisely administered.

'Chronic pain medication is medicine and should be practiced by doctors,’ said Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow.

The measure was carried over from last year after it failed to win passage. Efforts to come up with a compromise among a hospital group, doctors and certified registered nurse anesthetists fizzled. Certified registered nurse anesthetists now administer spinal injections to manage pain.

Trebilcock said the practice of chronic pain management is 'extremely dangerous.’

An injection in the wrong spot could cause paralysis or not effectively treat the pain, he said.

Trebilcock said certified nurse anesthetists would be allowed to continue to give other injections. It’s estimated the chronic pain injections take up only about 4 percent of their duties, he said.

Marvin York, a lobbyist for the Oklahoma Association of Nurse Anesthetists, said the measure would be a hardship to rural patients, because few rural doctors practice in pain management.

'I can’t imagine why any rural legislator ... could possibly be for this bill,’ he said.

Victor Long of Norman, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, said about 80 percent of the spinal injections for pain are administered by certified registered nurse anesthetists. About 500 certified registered nurse anesthetists are in the state, he said.

Rep. Pat Ownbey, R-Ardmore, said he wondered why the bill was necessary because no complaints had been filed against certified registered nurse anesthetists administering chronic pain management injections.

'Is this a patient issue or a money issue?’ he asked fellow committee members. 'Make no mistake, this is a turf war.’

Trebilcock said doctors are willing to travel to rural areas to administer the injections.

'Rural Oklahoma shouldn’t have to settle for less than a doctor when they suffer from chronic pain,’ he said."