MQIC releases common guidelines for opioid prescribing

In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, the Michigan Quality Improvement Consortium (MQIC) has developed opioid prescribing recommendations for physicians. At Priority Health, we continue to partner with you—our valued health care providers—to reduce opioid use among our local communities. We hope you’ll find the MQIC guidelines useful.


The new guideline, Opioid Prescribing in Adults Excluding Palliative and End-of-Life Care, provides prescribers with the latest evidence-based recommendations to clarify prescription writing and allow physicians to focus on patient care.

Summary of new recommendations

The MQIC recommendations build upon the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain originally released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2016. New guidelines suggest trying non-opioid medications and non-drug (physical and/or behavioral) therapy for initial treatment for chronic or acute pain treatment in lieu of prescribing opioids. The MQIC recommendations suggest that providers:

  • Carefully consider whether to begin prescribing opioids
  • Review the risk for dependence and risk of death related to high-dose vs. low-dose
  • Limit large quantity prescribing
  • Review the patient’s pain and function—including improvements—over the course of treatment

Other participating health plans

Participating in MQIC and supporting the guidelines are Aetna Better Health of Michigan, Blue Care Network of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Cross Complete of Michigan, HAP Midwest Health Plan, Harbor Health Plan, Health Alliance Plan, Meridian Health Plan, Michigan Association of Health Plans, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Osteopathic Association, Michigan State Medical Society, Molina Health Care, Inc., MPRO, Physicians Health Plan, Priority Health, Total Health Care Inc., United Healthcare Community Plan and University of Michigan Health System.

For more information

You’ll find these guidelines and other useful information on our provider opioid management page. More information is also available on the MQIC website.