GMA Controlled Substance Policy
The ongoing opioid crisis in this nation is caused by the widespread misuse of opioid pain medication. On average in the United States alone, there are approximately 115 deaths per day due to opioid overdose.
Here at GMA, we care about your pain management and psychological health, and want to help you or your loved one stay safe. We recognize the validity and importance of these medications, but we also understand there are significant risks involved when taking these medications.
OUR GOAL IS TO PROVIDE THE MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC PAIN, ANXIETY, & INSOMNIA, AND TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF ADDICTION, DIVERSION, AND ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE INHERENT IN THESE HIGH-RISK MEDICATIONS.
Our chronic controlled substance policy, designed by GMA physicians, is carefully monitored to provide safe and effective medication management. Our providers follow the opioid-prescribing guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Colorado medical boards.
In accordance with GMA’s policy and state and federal guidelines, all GMA patients who are prescribed certain controlled medications that treat CHRONIC PAIN (opioid medications) or ANXIETY or INSOMNIA (benzodiazepine medications) every day for more than 90 days can expect:
- In-office visits every 3 months
- Required urine drug screening at least once per year, unannounced
- Signing an agreement with your provider once per year
- Working with your provider to use other resources to help with pain control, anxiety, or insomnia
- A prescription for Narcan in addition to your other medication (only for patients taking an opioid medication)
Can I refuse the drug test? Am I getting tested because my provider thinks I am misusing my medication?
The annual urine drug screening is required as part of our policy for all patients chronically taking opioids or benzodiazepines, and is recommended by both the CDC and Colorado state medical boards. Urine drug tests can provide information about drug use that is not reported by the patient, especially drugs that can increase the risk for overdose.
Will marijuana or alcohol show up in the drug screen?
We also understand that these substances are legal in the state of Colorado, so we encourage you to discuss safe usage with your provider while on these medications.
How much does the drug screen cost? How do I pay for it? Why is it so expensive?
HealthTrackRx charges approximately $525 for the drug screen. Patients can expect to see a bill from HealthTrackRx within 1-2 months after testing. They will bill insurance first; how much insurance pays is dependent upon your insurance policy. If you are self-pay, please call HealthTrackRx at 844-218-3097 to see if you qualify for a reduced rate.
If you have questions about your drug screen bill or want to set up a payment plan, please call HealthTrackRx at 844-218-3097. You can also pay your bill online.
GMA’s laboratory also has brochures available with more information regarding drug screen billing.
GMA chose to use the SureTest drug screen through HealthTrackRx because of its accuracy, broad range of substances screened for and detected, and overall cost compared to similar screens offered by other companies. Because this test is so comprehensive and accurate, it is expensive to do.
I’ve heard that stress can make pain or anxiety worse. How can I reduce stress in my life?
If I ask for help, will my provider assume that I am ready to come off of my medication?
Is medication my only option?
If I cut back on my medication and then have a setback in pain or anxiety, can my provider increase my dose again?
Why has my provider told me that I can no longer take my opioid medication (for pain) with my benzodiazepine medication (for anxiety or insomnia), even though I’ve been taking both for years?
What happens if I break the agreement I signed with my provider?
What happens if another provider prescribes another controlled medication for me after surgery or a traumatic event?
Intentionally getting prescriptions for controlled substances from multiple providers is considered a breach of your agreement with your GMA provider. Repercussions could include discontinuance of all controlled substance prescriptions and even dismissal from the practice.