Doctors Are Protesting Medicare Change That Would Let Insurers Deny Opioid Prescriptions – by Ed Cara – Mar 6, 2018
The most exceptional aspect of this article is where it appeared: in a publication devoted to high tech, Gizmodo. This means it will be seen by a completely different audience than most such pieces.
In response to the opioid epidemic that is killing tens of thousands of Americans a year, the U.S. government is poised to further restrict the amount of opioids Medicare patients can have access to at any one time, via a policy that would tell insurers to deny coverage for certain prescriptions on the spot.
But a group of doctors and researchers is pleading with officials to reconsider, saying the move would harm cancer patients and others who desperately need pain relief. Continue reading
The Other Side of Opioid Limits | Drug Topics | Oct 2017 | By Nicholas Hamm
Proponents argue that limits reduce the risk of addiction, but are they keeping pharmacists from caring for their patients?
As the opioid crisis worsens, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and legislators are scrambling to help solve the problem. Recently, those efforts have focused on limiting opioid supplies.
But in the effort to prevent unnecessary medications, are pain patients getting left behind? Continue reading
Our noble profession is being destroyed by legislators and administrators – KevinMD – CATHLEEN LONDON, MD | Aug 2017
A doctor describes the frustration of her hard-won knowledge and expertise being overruled by an insurance company minion with barely a high school degree.
I had a great day in the office today. Not that I came up with any brilliant diagnosis nor cured anyone.
I was able to just be a physician. No time wasted on the phone with insurance companies. No prior authorizations to do.
It was a reminder of how much I love my job. Continue reading
Tell Medicare to Stop Its War on Pain Patients — Pain News Network – February 19, 2018 – By Richard A. Lawhern
In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a deeply biased and scientifically unsupported guideline for the prescription of opioid pain relievers. Congress made this “guideline” mandatory in the Department of Veterans Affairs three months before it was even published.
The VA has since enacted practice guidelines that effectively eliminate opioids as a treatment option for many veterans.
And we’re seeing the tragic result as increasing numbers of veterans with chronic pain take their lives when pain relief is withheld. (see VA Acknowledges Suicides)
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Can Physicians Prescribe Opioids to Treat Pain Adequately While Avoiding Legal Sanction? – free full-text /PMC5494184/ – July 2017 – Am J Law Med.
Prescription opioids are an important tool for physicians in treating pain but also carry significant risks of harm when prescribed inappropriately or misused by patients or others.
Recent increases in opioid related morbidity and mortality has reignited scrutiny of prescribing practices by law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and state medical boards.
At the same time, the predominant 4D model of misprescribers is outdated and insufficient; it groups physician misprescribers as dated, duped, disabled, or dishonest. Continue reading
Rehab Expert: Pain Patients Denied Needed Opioids in Palliative Care – Dec 2017
David, a 38-year-old father of four and five-year survivor of fungal meningitis, experiences the long-term effects of contaminated epidural injections that have left him with headaches, visual disturbances, tinnitus, adhesive arachnoiditis and fibromyalgia.
His story exemplifies the gap between state and federal health care laws and treatment protocols for those with chronic pain requiring high-dose opioid therapy, wrote Terri Lewis, PhD, in “States of Pain: Part II. The Influence of Regulations” in National Pain Report. Continue reading
Who Is to Blame for the Opioid Crisis? – Oct 2017 – Commander John Burke
I find it interesting that many people pin the blame for the opioid crisis on pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.
States, cities, and even small municipalities have jumped on board to sue the manufacturers and/or wholesalers of prescription drugs.
The lure of no-cost attorneys who only take a portion if a suit is successful has drawn many governmental entities into the legal arena. Continue reading
The Opioid Crackdown: Have We Gone Too Far? Part III – November 21, 2017 – by Anne Fletcher
Part three of this series examines what happens when government guidelines and recommendations such those in as the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain are used to make rules and regulations about medications that leave little or no room for physicians’ discretion and individual patient needs.
How does this impact people who depend on these medications to avoid suffering and have a decent quality of life? Continue reading
New Joint Commission Pain Standards a Good Start, but Devil’s in the Details: Experts – Pain Medicine News – Nov 2017 —Ajai Raj
Bend over, here it comes again…
The Joint Commission described the new standards in its “Requirement, Rationale, Reference” (R3) report, released on Aug. 29, 2017, writing that they are “designed to improve the quality and safety of care provided by Joint Commission–accredited hospitals.”
And, of course, quality in pain treatment is currently defined by how much they can reduce (or deny outright) opioid pain relievers. Continue reading
Promoting Pain Relief and Preventing Abuse of Pain Medications: A Critical Balancing Act – A joint statement from 21 health organizations and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In this PDF file from October 2016, I found surprisingly patient-centered statements endorsed by the DEA, like:
“For many patients, opioid analgesics… are the most effective way to treat their pain, and often the only treatment option that provides significant relief.”
…share a responsibility for ensuring that prescription pain medications are available to the patients who need them
However, I don’t see any indication the DEA is following its own “consensus statement”. Continue reading