Nursing home group criticizes proposed painkiller dispensing legislation

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Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)

Newly proposed legislation aimed at easing painkiller-dispensing regulations in nursing homes is being loudly condemned by the American Health Care Association.

The bill would allow designated nursing home staff to administer controlled substances to residents while acting on a physician's verbal orders, according to its sponsor, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). But according to Greg Crist, AHCA's vice president of public affairs, the legislation misses the mark.

“It will not quicken our ability to administer needed painkillers,” Crist told McKnight's. “When a patient is suffering, caregivers need to be focused on treating the pain, not filling out more paperwork.”

While Kohl's bill empowers nursing staff to treat residents' pain more efficiently, it also requires them to document in writing each step of the process to satisfy U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency guidelines

“We tried working with the Senator's staff to improve this measure, and apparently none of our recommendations were included. AHCA cannot support the bill in its current form,” Crist added.  

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