Opioid education program

Effective January 1, 2018, prescribing medical providers applying for initial credentialing for
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Effective January 1, 2018, prescribing medical providers applying for initial credentialing for SelectNet must complete an educational course on prescribing and managing opioids within the first year of joining the network.

Hospitalists with delegated credentialing are not required to complete Pinnacol Assurance's approved opioid awareness courses. The delegating organization shall verify each group participant meets the organization's credentialing standards.

Network providers must demonstrate successful completion of one of Pinnacol Assurance’s approved opioid awareness courses, as described in Exhibit B of the SelectNet contracts. Failure to comply with the requirement may jeopardize continued network participation.

Courses that meet the requirement will provide proof or evidence of competency for these topics:

  • Assessing the patient risk for addiction
  • Understanding of drug interactions and opioid tolerance
  • Interpreting drug screen results based on opioid metabolism
  • Recognizing symptoms of opioid overdose
  • Instructing patients on opioid use, alternatives, and side effects.

Within one year of network affiliation, a copy of the course certificate of attendance should be forwarded to

Pinnacol-recommended opioid courses for providers

Multiple organizations offer courses on opioid awareness, prescribing and management. Pinnacol does not intend to direct the type or duration of medical treatment you may prescribe. We understand you must exercise your independent medical judgment in these matters.

Our goal is to assure safe and effective pain management through education that provides alternatives to opioids, best practices for starting and stopping opioid therapy, screening for at-risk patients and monitoring adherence to therapies.

New SelectNet providers can choose from a variety of courses. Pinnacol recommends two courses produced by the Center for Public Health Practice. Both courses are free and must be completed to meet Pinnacol's opioid awareness requirement for credentialing.

Clinical Pearls for Safe Opioid Prescribing
Non-Opioid Pain Management

These courses are among the many options available to physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants (see below for additional Pinnacol-approved courses).

For providers who have completed opioid education programs within the past two years, please submit a request to for our review. A waiver of the Pinnacol course requirement needs evidence of comparable topics and competency and prior approval from Pinnacol.

Alternate Pinnacol-recommended opioid/pain management courses

Course Title CME? Sponsor Length (hours)
Assisting Patients with Opioid Addiction Treatment Yes AAFP 1
Chronic Opioid Therapy Yes AAFP 1
Pain Management Yes AAFP 1
FP Audio Edition Yes AAFP 1
Opioid Prescribing: Safe Practice, Saving Lives Yes AANP
Safe Prescribing for Pain Yes NIDA 1
Managing Pain Patients Who Abuse Rx Drugs Yes NIDA 1
Expanding Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder Yes ASAM
Prescribing Opioids for Pain at the Time of Changing Pain Management Guidelines Yes AAPM
Addressing the Opioid Crisis through Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder - Physician's Role Yes AMA 1
Legal and Ethical Issues of Opioid Prescribing for Acute Dental Pain Yes ADA 1
Navigating Perception and Management Expectations...Opioid Taper and Integrative Approach Yes AAPM 1
Providing Stepped Care Management for Pain in Your Practice and Community Yes AAN 1
The Relief that Binds you: Pain Induced by Opioid Use and Withdrawal Yes ASAM 1
Interventional Pain Management: a Pain Control Strategy for the Patient in Treatment Yes ASAM 1.5
Prescription Opioids: Misuse, Consequences and Countermeasures Yes ASAM 2.25
ASAM Pain and Addiction: Common Thread - Treating Patients at Risk for Addiction/Patients with Real Pain Yes ASAM 8
Strategies to Reduce the Harm of Prescription Drugs No SAMHSA
Prevent Prescription Drug Dependence or Misuse - Part 1 No SAMHSA 1
Decrease the Availability and Supply for Non-Medical Use - Part 2 No SAMHSA 1
Preventing Nonfatal and Fatal Overdose from Prescription Drugs - Part 3 No SAMHSA 1
Prescription Opioid Treatment Study No ATTC Self-study
Supporting Recovery with Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) No ATTC 1-3
Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit No ATTC Online
Scope of Pain No COPIC 2
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