Here is my response to the Pain News Network article entitled: “Study: Prescription Drug Databases Overestimate Opioid Misuse” written by Pat Anson and posted 8-13-19:
“PDMP databases are just numbers and details. At least in Oregon, I have had to point out numerous errors in the PDMP data just for my patients. If the error rate is even 1%, that adds up to hundreds of thousands of errors that NO ONE is paying attention to. PDMP use is NOT mandated in Oregon; you only have to be signed up for the system. So guess what? Use is not where it really should be. Despite the errors, it is a useful tool as any data can be when interpreted with the big picture of seeing a patient, doing a physical, using questionnaires, and more.
Just today I reviewed the records of a prominent pain clinic located in Medford, Oregon. It is filled with “cut-and-paste” entries to justify higher billing rates to Medicare, in this case. Physical exams documented as being done at every visit, yet the patient say they were examined only at the first visit. Drug tests where results are posted improperly; some documented as “consistent” when NO results are posted. No pill counts EVER done. Inaccurate MED calculations. The list goes on and on of the Nurse Practitioner’s failure to do her job, while all the while having her patients call her “Dr. Amy.” That is unethical but this NP and this clinic don’t care about ethics, proper medical care, and more. To them the purpose of their “cattle flow” of patients is just to make money through the insurance companies; rapid visits billed at the highest possible rates for care that really wasn’t provided and drug tests at most visits.
These are the type of pain clinics that have given the public a bad image of pain doctors and as usual the underlying cause is $$$$$$. When is Medicare and Medicaid going to start reviewing the medical records more closely and interviewing patients as to what really happened at those visits. Better yet why not send undercover agents in to pose as patients and see what is NOT being done that is claimed to HAVE been done. It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to figure this out. I’m not one after all myself. But my attention to detail is a lot more than the idiot providers who don’t proofread their medical records and approve ridiculous statements, lack of information being filled out, and more.
I could only wish that Medicare and Medicaid would let me review these records and take a percentage of the medical fraud penalties that are found; I could retire from medicine just doing this type of paperwork! The federal government can manipulate any numbers in any database to show whatever they really want it to show regardless of good science or real math. Hey, isn’t that what already happened with the CDC Guidelines and the “opioid” crisis?! Pain clinics like this deserve to be closed and fined and their providers sent to prison for fraud. It will hurt patients losing their “easy” prescribers, but it will help rid the pain management system of the “bad eggs” that are creating problems for all the providers who really try to do their job properly.”