CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has issued restrictions on the duration of opioid prescriptions.
According to a public notice, providers must not exceed a five-day supply of an opioid prescription except in the cases of chronic pain, cancer pain, pain related to sickle cell disease, hospice care, palliative care or medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder.
If an initial prescription of more than five days is necessary, it must be documented in the patient's medical record, the notice said. The department plans to recoup any Medicaid funds for the service during which the prescription was issued if they discover a violation of the new policy.
The move comes as Gov. Henry McMaster issued an emergency response team to handle the opioid crisis in South Carolina and called the problem a "silent hurricane".
The new limits will go into effect May 1, 2018 with any potential recoupment of funds from violations beginning July 1.