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Question of the Day

When handing off opioid prescribing responsibilities to specialty services, what are the ethics and etiquette involved?

Communication between the prescribing physician and specialty service is paramount to a seamless transition. Unless previously coordinated, the prescribing physician should assume prescribing responsibility until the specialty service has completed a full evaluation, including urine toxicology, psychological evaluation, and a comprehensive history and physical. If the prescribing physician is uncomfortable with continued prescribing, a reasonable alternative is weaning the patient off of opioids until the specialty service has completed a full evaluation.