Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2017

Contact
Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356
leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov

DHHS Launches Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program 

Lincoln— The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the Nebraska Health Information Initiative launched an enhanced prescription drug monitoring program for health care professionals who prescribe and dispense medications.

As of Jan. 1, all dispensed prescriptions for controlled substances must be reported to the PDMP and providers will now have access to patients’ controlled substance medication histories.

“Over the last year, DHHS worked with NeHII to make the state PDMP more user-friendly and accessible to providers,” said Dr. Tom Williams, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. “One of the goals with the enhanced PDMP is to grow the number of providers using the system and accessing medication information as they are considering appropriate treatment options for their patients.”

By statute, the state’s PDMP is housed within NeHII which is Nebraska’s statewide, internet-based, health information exchange.  The PDMP is an effective tool that prescribers and dispensers can use to make a more informed decision for patient care.

“We’ve developed a brief but informative training for health care professionals to help them access and navigate the enhanced system,” said Deb Bass, CEO of NeHII. “We provided numerous trainings in December and have in-person training sessions scheduled across the state along with webinars during January. Providers are encouraged to sign up for training as soon as possible if they haven’t done so already.”
Training materials and a schedule of upcoming PDMP webinars are available online - http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/PDMP/Pages/PDMPTraining.aspx.

These efforts are part of DHHS’ prescription drug overdose prevention initiatives and are a priority in the DHHS Business Plan - http://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/BusinessPlan.pdf.  DHHS received just over $3.5 million in federal funding to help advance prevention. In addition to enhancing Nebraska’s PDMP, DHHS is also working with partners to establish opioid prescribing guidelines, increase provider and patient education and create awareness about expanded access to naloxone, a drug that can be given to people experiencing an opioid-related overdose.

Fast facts about prescription drug use, abuse and deaths in Nebraska:

  • In Nebraska, 149 Nebraskans died of a drug overdose in 2015. At least 54 were opioid related.
  • Data show a slight increase in opioid-related deaths in Nebraska over the last decade from 2.4 per 100,000 people in 2005 to 3.0 per 100,000 in 2015. 
  • Nebraska’s drug overdose death rate has also increased – 8.0 overdose deaths for every 100,000 people in 2015 up from 3.6 in 2004. The U.S. drug overdose death rate per 100,000 people was 14.7 in 2014 versus 9.3 in 2004.

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