Kohl threatens to hold up DEA nominee over nursing home drug-dispensing issue

Share this article:
Aging Committee chief hears complaints about nursing homes
Aging Committee chief hears complaints about nursing homes

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) continues to express his reservations about Michelle Leonhart, the nominee to lead the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Leonhart on Wednesday, Kohl said he still has concerns about the DEA's policy regarding the delivery of pain medications in nursing homes.

“I will not hold her nomination in the Committee today, but I do intend to hold her nomination on the Senate floor until we have made more progress towards our goal of ensuring that nursing home residents get timely access to the prescription drug care they need,” Kohl told the committee.

The DEA declined to comment when contacted by McKnight's on Wednesday. In October, under pressure from the Senate, the agency released new guidelines allowing nurses to be agents of physicians to call in painkiller prescriptions orally to pharmacies. But this change doesn't go far enough for some committee members, as nurses are still restricted in calling in orders for other important pain-relieving drugs, such as morphine. Kohl is working on legislation that would allow nurses—acting as agents to doctors—to call in controlled substances such as Schedule II drugs to pharmacies. The Senate committee also conducted an investigation that found much confusion still exists among nurses as to what new protocols allow.

Share this article:

More in News

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume ...

Long-term care bucked healthcare industry trends with strong merger and acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2014, according to newly released data from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Empowering nurse practitioners could reduce hospitalizations from SNFs, study finds

Granting more authority to nurse practitioners is associated with reduced hospitalization of skilled nursing facility residents, according to recently published findings.

Pioneer ACO drops out of program, despite reductions in skilled nursing utilization

A California healthcare system has become the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, despite reducing skilled nursing facility utilization and improving its readmission rates. Sharp HealthCare announced its decision in a quarterly financial statement released Tuesday.