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Interagency Guidelines

Medical treatment guidelines are published as an educational tool for medical providers caring for patients of state agency programs. State agencies use the guidelines to evaluate health technologies, including devices, durable medical equipment, procedures, diagnostics, and off-label drug use.


A New Opioid Guideline from Washington Agency Medical Directors' Group

Please note, the guideline is not a rule, and it is separate from DOH Pain Management Rules.

The new AMDG 2015 Interagency Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Pain was developed in partnership with a broad advisory group of the state’s academic leaders, pain experts, and clinicians in both primary care and specialty areas. The new guideline offers a balanced approach to pain management that includes recommendations for multimodal non-opioid therapies and opioids when appropriate. By using the best practices in the new guideline, clinicians can improve the care of patients with chronic pain and help save lives.

The 2015 guideline was developed and written between April 2014 and June 2015. The public was invited to comment on the draft guideline during four weeks in April and May. A summary of the public comments and the AMDG responses to them are provided here.


Opioid Dosing Guideline for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

The opioid dosing guideline will assist primary care providers who do not specialize in pain medicine in prescribing opioids for adults in a safe and effective manner. These guidelines will aid in reducing death and morbidity related to opioid dosing for treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. The guidelines do not apply to acute pain, cancer pain, surgery-related pain, or end-of-life or hospice care.


Please visit the Opioid Dosing Guidelines page for more information.


Antiepileptic Guideline for Neuropathic Pain

In October, 2005, an interagency guideline was published in a Provider Bulletin to provide guidance to treating physicians in the use of antiepileptic drugs in the management of neuropathic pain. This guideline was developed by the Department of Labor and Industries and the Department of Social and Health Services in collaboration with expert opinion from actively practicing physicians.

PDF Antiepileptic Drugs Guidelines (73 KB PDF)


Additional Information

For more information on guideline development and health technology assessments, please view the Washington State Health Care Authority State Health Technology Assessment Program and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Health Technology Web site.

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