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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Doctor shopping and HIPPA

Ken Yeager is starting to roll out some of his ideas to have doctors and pharmacists check IDs and drug history of patients previous to making more prescriptions for some drugs that are being abused.

The oxy/Roxy (Oxycontin / roxycontin) drug problem is getting to out of control levels.
People are doctor shopping and getting multiple prescriptions for the same drug from multiple doctors. With the current system, many good doctors don't realize they are being taken advantage of (or choose to look the other way) and are over prescribing.

The lobbyist for the doctors don't want to be required to check the database previous to making more prescriptions citing additional work. This seems odd in that I think a doctor could be liable if they did not check the database and something went wrong (Bad mix of drugs, overdose, etc.)

The current bill also allows access to the database to law enforcement. I cant see that part of the bill passing HIPPA or constitutional muster though.


  1. Stacey,

    We are trying to care for patients and do more paperwork. On the one hand we are told to not let people suffer in pain, and if we do, then we are held liable. Now we are told not to dive out pain medication. SO, which is it? Oh, we have to now go to a database and check to see if our patient is lying to us or not. All the time, since 2001, medical expenses have gone up 42%, the consumer price index has gone up 24% and reimbursement to physicians has stayed at 0%. I have staff I pay to submit forms to TennCare and insurance companies. I have nurses to educate my patients and I have front staff to assist patients with appointments. Whom do you propose to have check the database? Are you wiling to have TennCare hire one person per MD to do the job? We are not in the law enforcement business. Perhaps you want to have all prescriptions cleared through the TBI first? I am a physician. I am not a police officer. Most doctors are honest and trying to help their patients. Do not penalize us for the crooked among us. Find the crooks and deal with them. The state has the resources. Does the state have the desire?

  2. Sorry doc,

    HIPPA wont allow police to do police work and investigate over prescription abuse. If the person can show a script, its legal. Even if they have 35 sets of them.

    The only people who can regulate prescription drugs are the people doing the prescribing. That or possibly the AMA.

  3. I should say HIPPA and the 4th amendment.

  4. Don't worry doc. In the end, a compromise will be reached where a system will be created to check prescriptions, while you will be given immunity as long as the system gives you a green light. The system will be riddled with errors (like e-verify), people will become a number and doctors will have immunity as long as they rely on the system, but politicians will feel good because they did something.

    If we legalized medical marijuanna, many of these problems would be resolved, but big pharma, the CIA and the prison industrial complex wouldn't benefit.

  5. This is exactly why the cost of medical care is going up so dramatically in Tennessee and across the U.S. The state and federal governments keep imposing more and more burdens on doctors that go far beyond patient care.

    The doctors have to spend more and more time to be in compliance with the various laws, hire more people, and purchase additional technology or other items to do the government's bidding. In the end all of these costs get passed on to patients and insurance companies.


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