Recent information suggests that the Opioid problem has been created in doctors offices. There are many story’s concerning patients who had pain, visited their doctor, and were given a medication for the problem. Sometimes, that medication was an Opioid and it was given for years by dentists and many other types of providers.
The problem is, some patients found that after a week, they were already showing signs of becoming addicted to the medication. Apparently, hospitals may have been a larger contributor to the Opioid problem that originally thought, and it may be due to how hospitals are incentivized through Medicare and Medicaid.
Apparently, they have to answer certain questions regularly asked a certain way to Medicare and Medicaid, which can affect their level of reimbursement.
Pain often motivates patients to place pressure on their doctors to prescribe a pain reliever, and often in the past, it was in the form of an Opioid.
Hospitals are under constant pressure to get the highest marks on surveys for pain management and may have been giving certain medications out to improve their scores, often in the absence of an understanding of why the patient was in pain.
The Opioid problem may be part failure to manage and playing by the rules to get reimbursed for the hospital care the patient received during their emergency room visit, so the devil’s in the details.
Read more about the problems with funding formula’s and why it may be partially responsible for why we have a problem with Opioids.
Doctors say funding formula for hospitals encourages overprescribing of pain meds
he questions about pain seem harmless:
During this hospital stay, did you need medicine for pain?
How often was your pain well-controlled?
How often did the hospital staff do everything they could to help you with your pain?
Part of a survey routinely given to patients on Medicare or Medicaid, the answers to these questions are used to determine how much medical facilities are reimbursed by the federal government.
Doctors across the country point to the survey as just one example of how emphasizing pain treatment puts pressure on them to overprescribe painkillers.
They feel that pressure from the patients who expect a pill for every ailment and from some patients who may be addicts.
They feel it from the pharmaceutical companies that used deceptive advertising about the safety of opioids.