News You Can Use
  This is a bi-weekly blog to keep you informed of issues and events pertaining to the osteopathic profession in Washington. We invite you to submit topics or articles of interest to your colleagues for consideration. Submissions may be emailed to
Pain Management Resources

Washington is experiencing an opioid crisis. Inadequate access to clinicians with pain management expertise can unintentionally contribute to this crisis. UW Medicine and the Washington State Health Care Authority have partnered to offer new, free pain management resources for community-practice providers. These resources will help equip more providers to treat patients with challenging chronic pain problems:

The UW Medicine Pain and Opioid Consult Hotline for Clinicians for “just in time” advice. It’s available for the clinician in the exam room or in the office just prior to seeing a patient with complex chronic pain problems, especially involving opioid management. Pain pharmacists and physicians are available to offer advice on guideline adherence, drug-drug interactions and risks, approach to dose taper, and, when needed, suggested referral resources for more help.

Number: 1-844-520-PAIN (7246)

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

UW TelePain for in-depth multidisciplinary “educational” consultation. The weekly audio/video-based conferences offer case presentations from community clinicians and interactive consultations for providers with a multi-disciplinary panel of specialists. Cases are usually scheduled for discussion within days or for the following week. Learn more about the sessions at 

WOMA Convention Offers Specialty Credits

The 104th NW Osteopathic Convention taking place at the Semiahmoo Resort May 4-7 has received approval for several AOA specialty credits, as well as AAFP approval of 23 Prescribed Credits.

Total AOA Category 1-A Credits:

Up to 23, plus up to two additional credits for completing the Outcomes Survey

AOA Category 1-A Specialty Credits:

American Osteopathic Board of Family Practice – 23 credits

American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (OBG) – 6.75 credits

American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics & Gynecologic Surgery (OGS) – 6.75 credits

American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry – 4 credits

American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine – 3 credits

American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics – 1.75 credits

The American Osteopathic Board of Pathology:

Laboratory Medicine - 7 credits

Anatomic Pathology - 6 credits

Anatomic Pathology/Laboratory Medicine (combined) - 7 credits

Forensic Pathology – 1 credit

American Osteopathic Board of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – 5.25 credits

American Osteopathic Board if Internal Medicine – awaiting determination

American Academy of Family Practice – Up to 23 Prescribed credits

DO Day 2017

DO Day in Olympia provided an opportunity for legislators and assistants to converse about health care issues over a casual lunch with osteopathic physicians and medical students.

  NW Wellness Conference & Annual Founders Evening

In conjunction with the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation’s Annual Founders Evening, PNWU is offering a one-day CME course. Attendees are encouraged to register to attend the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation's Annual Founders' Evening reception and banquet following the conference.

Registration for both the NW Wellness Conference and the Annual Founders' Evening is available at For more information on the program, go to

Exhibits Needed

The 104th Annual Convention is the perfect venue to share information about products and services, employment and precepting opportunities with approximately 100 osteopathic physicians. If you know of a business or organization that may want to take advantage of this opportunity, please direct them to or have them call the WOMA office at 206-937-5358 for more information.

Legislative Focus

Many of you should have received a VoterVoice Alert regarding Senate Bill 5800, which deserves a few minutes of your time to send a pre-written email message to your state senator. On March 1st, thanks to the efforts of our DO Day participants and the timeliness of our VoterVoice blast email, the bill was passed out of Rules to the Senate Floor for consideration by the entire Senate. If you have not yet done so, please participate in our VoterVoice email alert and ask your State Senator to pass SB 5800 out of the Senate.

SB 5800 is in response to the recent Volk v. DeMeerleer Supreme Court decision that will have profound and detrimental impacts on health care providers and patients. The decision is a troubling departure from the standard for "duty to warn" previously established in Washington and nationally. The Court held that, in the outpatient context, the duty of health care providers to warn potential victims of violence extends to all individuals who may "foreseeably" be endangered by a patient who has made a threat, even if no specific target was identified. This leaves providers with unprecedented responsibility to interpret who to warn and potential breakdown of provider-patient confidentiality. Patients may be unwilling to seek treatment or if they do, may not disclose important and dangerous thoughts and urges because their acquaintances may be informed of their private mental health information. Full patient disclosure may be further discouraged by this decision because the chance of involuntary commitment may increase to avoid provider liability.

Consequences of the Volk Decision

Conflicting Legal Obligations: Providers will face conflicting laws because the Volk decision requires disclosures broader than what is permitted by state mental health privacy laws.

The decision is at odds with integrated mental and physical health care. State and federal governments have recognized the importance of merging the physical and mental health treatment of patients. By damaging the provider-patient relationship and increasing liability risks, especially for mental health providers, the vision of contemporaneous care may go unfulfilled.

Increase in involuntary commitments. Any health care provider who witnesses a threat by a patient may have to now consider involuntary commitment rather than violating provider-patient confidentiality or identifying and notifying all individuals who might foreseeably be harmed by the patient.

Vastly expands liability of all health care providers. All health care providers may, at some time, hear a threat made by a patient. Failure to warn the potentially large number of individuals who may be a target of the threat will expose health care providers to third-party lawsuits.

Hinders critical recruitment and retention of qualified behavioral health workers due to expanded liability.

If you did not receive the VoterVoice alert and would like to participate in this campaign, go to and select State Issues under the Advocacy Tab. Choose the first campaign, Urge Yes Vote on SB 5800 by March 8.

104th Annual NW Osteopathic Convention
Registration is Now Open!
  Please join us for the 2017 WOMA Convention at Semiahmoo Resort May 4-7, 2017. Brochures will be mailed soon or members can click the link below register online. 
  Have Your Reserved Your Room Yet?
Get your room reserved while the discount is still available!
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The Washington Osteopathic Medical Association