Provider Alerts - March 27, 2019

New Naloxone Regulations Effective January 1, 2019


Date: March 27, 2019
To: HPSJ Primary Care Providers, Specialists, and Pharmacies
From: Health Plan of San Joaquin Pharmacy Department
Subject: New Naloxone Regulations Effective January 1, 2019
Business: Medi-Cal

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) wants all providers to be aware of the Assembly Bill 2760 requirement to offer a prescription to a patient for either naloxone or another drug approved by the FDA for the complete or partial reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression.

According to this law, a rescue medication for opioid-induced respiratory depression must be offered when one or more of the following conditions are present:

  • The prescription dosage is > or = 90 MEDD (morphine equivalent daily dose)
  • An opioid medication is prescribed concurrently with a prescription for a benzodiazepine
  • The patient presents with an increased risk for overdose—including a history of overdose, a history of substance use disorder, or a risk for returning to a high-dose of opioid medication to which the patient is no longer tolerant

What to do:

  • Prescribe naloxone for patients who meet the above criteria
  • Educate patients about overdose prevention and the use of naloxone to a patient and his or her designee

Health Plan of San Joaquin is dedicated to providing all members the best health care available in the most effective and efficient manner. You may contact our Customer Services Department with any questions or concerns, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (209) 942-6320.