Heroin Up — Pills Down
We have been closely following the Kentucky “Pill Mill” bill that was enacted last year. Although it has some shortcomings, unintentional consequences and vocal detractors, it has started to make a difference. Laura Ungar, writing in The Courier Journal, reported that UK is being funded by a Federal grant to research, study and quantify the effectiveness of this legislation.
Most of the “talking heads” predict there will be tweaks to this law in the next session. Until that time, below are the major facts:
- 15 non-physician owned pain management facilities have closed or are in the process of closing.
- 7 remaining non-physician owned pain facilities are under review by the Office of Inspector General.
- Controlled substance dispensing dropped 5% after years of increases.
- Inquiries/requests through the KASPER reporting system increased from 273,000 in 2006 to almost 3 million last year.
There is no doubt legitimate chronic pain patients now have to jump through additional hoops.
Also, the trend toward easier-to-acquire heroin as a pain pill substitute is quite disturbing. You won’t find heroin on KASPER, but you may start finding it on drug screens.
However, for now the “Pill Mill” bill is doing better while open to improvement.
Call Us. We can do better.