Older People Abuse Narcotics Too And May Doctor Shop

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There is a renewed federal effort to crack down on pill mills that over prescribe narcotic medications and have led to an epidemic of pain management medication misuse in the United States. However, the problem is not just in those situations. One would not think that the older generation significantly abuses narcotic buy adderall online , however, they actually do.

Patients who participate in the Medicare part D program for prescription drugs have now been shown to have a significant incidence of “doctor shopping”. “Doctor shopping” is a term used to describe a patient who acquires narcotic medication from one doctor, and then turns around to see another doctor or maybe even a few to acquire more narcotic medication. These medications are either taken because the patient is addicted to them or the patient is either selling them or maybe trading them for illicit drugs.

Usually, the prescribing physicians involved in this “doctor shopping” scam have no idea that the patient is acquiring narcotics from multiple doctors. In a study that was submitted recently to the Government Accountability Office, it was reported that over 170,000 Medicare Part D patients acquired narcotic prescriptions from over 5 doctors. This is fairly indicative of “doctor shopping”.

The study was accumulated in 2008 and looked at 14 classes of controlled and noncontrolled substances that are frequently abused. This amount of patients represented close to 2% of all beneficiaries involved in Part D Medicare who received prescriptions.

These prescriptions totaled approximately $148 million in damages for the medication itself, not the office visits. Medicare Part D is a plan that was created back 5 years ago to provide drug coverage to participants.

The predominant medication acquired in the doctor shopping was hydrocodone along with oxycodone. It should be noted that hydrocodone, which is best known as Vicodin, is the most predominantly prescribed medication in the world (overall, not just among narcotics).

A lot of the participants in Medicare Part D represent disabled individuals. So it should not come as a huge surprise that there are a lot of people in this group on narcotics. What should come as a surprise is the amount of individuals who are receiving narcotic prescriptions from 5 or more doctors in the group.

Doctor shopping is now often able to be spotted due to commonalities between these patients. They will often ask for early refills of their prescriptions, or refuse to see a specialist despite repetitive recommendations. Or they will often ask specifically for oxycodone stating that they have an allergy to other medications.

The Center For Medicare Services is instituting methods to reduce doctor shopping by the Part D patients. These include state prescription drug monitoring programs, encouraging electronic prescribing, centralizing claims data across federal health care programs, and helping the drug plans involved with Part D to become better at spotting and preventing drug abuse.

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