Doctor shopping – We search & uncover chronic abusers
Just another day. That’s what I thought as I read the Courier Journal and saw two articles about prescription drug abuse. The first article detailed a Kentucky physician’s license suspension. This Louisville physician pre-signed prescription pads authorizing narcotics for his patients. He instructed his nurse practitioner to use them and also made them available to the office manager, receptionist and other staff members.
The alert nurse practitioner accessed the KASPER data base and determined that 81 of the 91 patients seen that day were doctor shopping, having already received narcotics from other physicians in recent days. Imagine that! 89% of the patients FOR THAT DAY were doctor shopping — and were accommodated! The second article noted a former Humana employee had been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for stealing the identities of four patients and using that information to get prescription painkillers for himself. His attorney said his client had become dependent upon hydrocodone after having been prescribed it following surgery on his leg.
What’s the chance the ex·Humana employee or one of the 81 patients receiving bogus prescriptions were workers’ comp claimants? Pretty likely, I’ll bet. As always, comp is not the only factor in prescription drug abuse but it continues to be a major one. As prescription drugs drive soaring medical costs in all comp systems, are you doing all you can to contain them? Cunning claimants and facilitating physicians can cost you dearly. We have the clinical resources to “search and destroy” chronic abusers.
Call us. We can do better.
Posted in Medical Cost Containment, OMCA