Kentucky physicians will face some changes in prescribing following the 2017 legislative session and that could affect their usage of KASPER, Kentucky’s system for tracking controlled substance prescriptions dispensed within the state. KASPER stands for Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System.
David Hopkins, program manager for KASPER in the Office of the Inspector General, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, will discuss those changes as part of his presentation at the KMA Annual Meeting Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Hyatt Regency Louisville. Hopkins also will provide an update of the KASPER program and recent trends in data, as well as review when physicians are required to use KASPER under statutory and regulatory requirements.
Hopkins’ presentation is part of an afternoon filled with discussion that will earn physicians the required CME credit for House Bill 1 for the current cycle that ends in December.
Hopkins said KASPER provides the tool for physicians to monitor the controlled substance use of their patients. It also allows the state to look at trends in usage of controlled substance. For instance, KASPER shows the higher usage and prescribing rates in certain regions around the state. Hopkins also sees more prescriptions for suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction.
“It’s an indication that far more people are seeking treatment for opioid abuse or addiction,” he said. Hopkins believes House Bill 1, passed in 2012 to address prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth, played a role in the increased number of people seeking treatment. “More practitioners are identifying these patients who have a problem and are referring them to treatment.”
The legislature made several changes to KASPER this year, and Hopkins will review those changes during his presentation. For instance, Senate Bill 32 requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to forward drug conviction data to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for inclusion in KASPER. House Bill 314 requires certain hospitals to report positive toxicology screens to the cabinet for inclusion in the KASPER reports.
Hopkins said KASPER is the tool physicians can use to manage their patients’ controlled substance use. They also can use the tool to monitor what is being reported under their DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) license.
But it’s important for physicians to know how to use the tool to get the most benefit. “Our goal will be to help physicians use KASPER more effectively in their practice,” said Hopkins.