The department or self-insurer will continue to pay for treatment with opioids so long as the physician documents:
Substantial reduction of the patient's pain intensity; and
Continuing substantial improvement in the patient's function.
Once the worker's condition has reached maximum medical improvement, further treatment with opioids is not payable. Opioid treatment for chronic, noncancer pain past the first three months of such treatment without documentation of substantial improvement is presumed to be not proper and necessary.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020 and 51.04.030. 00-01-040, § 296-20-03022, filed 12/7/99, effective 1/20/00.]