State Board of Veterinary Medicine: Legislative Updates

New Legislation 2019

On May 23, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed SB19-228 Substance Use Disorders Prevention. The law went into effect immediately upon the Governor's signature. The law requires the Colorado Medical Board, State Board of Nursing, Colorado Dental Board, State Board of Optometry, Colorado Podiatry Board, and the State Board of Veterinary Medicine to adopt rules on substance use disorder training for prescribers. The rules must require certain health care providers, as a condition of license renewal, reactivation or reinstatement on or after October 1, 2019, to complete up to four credit hours of training per licensing cycle related to:

  • Best practices for opioid prescribing, according to the most recent version of the Division's Guidelines for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids,
  • Recognition of substance use disorders,
  • Referral of patients with substance use disorders for treatment, and,
  • Use of the Electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

The new requirements apply to podiatrists, physicians, physician assistants, dentists, advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority, optometrists, and veterinarians, except that each Board's rules must exempt from the training requirements any health care provider who:

  • Maintains a national board certification that requires equivalent substance use prevention training, or
  • Attests to the appropriate board that the health care provider does not prescribe opioids.

In addition to the substance abuse prevention training requirements, the new law includes the following provisions:

  • Restricts a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse from accepting any direct or indirect benefits for prescribing a specific medication,
  • Allows pharmacies to charge enhanced dispensing fees if they provide counseling concerning the risks of opioids to patients who have not previously received opioid prescriptions,
  • Allows medical examiners and coroners to access the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) under specified circumstances,
  • Requires opioid prescriptions for outpatient use to bear a warning label, and,
  • Provides funding for the implementation of several programs for the prevention of opioid and other substance use disorders in the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and local public health agencies (LPHAs), and the University of Colorado.