Monday, December 18, 2017

OCMA Blog

Prescription Drug Abuse – What to Look For

By Ann Whitehead, JD, RN
Vice President of Risk Management & Patient Safety Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. A staggering statistic from the National Drug Abuse Institute reveals prescription drugs are the second most abused drug, behind marijuana, by seniors in high school. The CDC finds overdoses from prescription painkillers resulted in more deaths in 2010 than heroin and cocaine combined.1

Prescription drug abuse affects all age, race, gender, and socioeconomic classes. Here are two examples: the patient on an antidepressant prescribed by his psychiatrist was also taking a narcotic prescribed by an orthopedist. In a drug-induced haze, the man threw himself down a flight of stairs, breaking his neck; or the 83-year-old patient who recently came to the office for morphine who later tested positive for cocaine. Both patients create liability and treatment issues for their physicians. 

Although many types of prescription drugs are abused, there is currently a growing, deadly epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. Nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription opioid painkillers. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the California Department of Justice are aggressively prosecuting individuals who prescribe opioids illegally and those who operate “pill mills.” Physicians face challenges when trying to spot the patient who may be abusing prescription drugs or possibly improperly sharing them with others. The following are some suspicious behaviors that may raise the red flag. 

The patient may:

• Refuse to grant permission to obtain old records or communicate with previous physicians.
• Demonstrate reluctance to undergo comprehensive histories, physical examinations, or diagnostic testing, especially urine drug screenings.
• Request specific drugs (often because of the higher resale value of brand names).
• Profess multiple allergies to recommended medications.
• Resist certain treatment options.
• Threaten doctors or display anger during visits.
• Consistently target appointments at the end of the day or during off hours.
• Repeatedly lose prescriptions.
• Request escalation in dosages.
• Demonstrate noncompliance with prescription instructions.

A helpful tool for physicians is the “Opioid Overdose Toolkit: Information for Prescribers” recently released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).2 This guide offers tips on safe prescribing and preventing opioid overdose including: assessment, state drug monitoring programs, medication selection, prescription writing tips, use of naloxone, and deciding when to stop opioid.

Lastly, if you get a call from the DEA or local law enforcement, contact the CAP Hotline for assistance.

For more information about CAP, or to request additional information or risk management publications, please contact us at: MD@CAPphysicians.com, or call 800-356-5672. You can also visit our website at: www.CAPphysicians.com.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC grand rounds: Prescription drug overdoses – A U.S. epidemic. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.2012; 61(1):10-13.
2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Toolkit” Information for Prescribers. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4742. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 2013.


OCMA Selects Credential Protection LLC as Preferred Business Partner

Southern California tech company will assist OCMA physician members in battling and improving their online reviews and cyber reputation.

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 4, 2013 - The Orange County Medical Association is pleased to announce another benefit of membership. The OCMA has designated Credential Protection LLC (CP) to assist members in protecting and improving their online reputation.
 
OCMA members may receive complimentary consultations and discounted rates on every reputation and review package that Credential Protection offers.
 
The company was born from the mind of a practicing physician who received some negative reviews before opening his practice! Dr. Doan set out to create a solution for physicians to combat negative reviews without compromising their ethics or costing them their valuable time. "The solution to pollution is dilution." According to Andrew Doan, M.D., PhD, founder and managing partner of Credential Protection. "I chose the name because we spend so much time earning our credentials only to have them smeared online from a couple of angry people with an ax to grind. It seemed like happy patients wouldn't review me even though I handed out campaign cards in the office. So my staff came up with a creative and honest way to give our happy patients a voice online, and this is still the backbone of CP's system. It's really cool to watch it grow and help other physicians."
 
Credential Protection offers a unique and effective way to harvest reviews and get them online for your marketing benefit. CP also offers a suite of other services to help you challenge negative reviews on other sites, track your reputation and grab more spots in the SERP (search engine results pages) for your practice.
 
"No Black hat SEO or astroturfing here," said Daniel Hunt, CEO of Credential Protection. "We have trademarked the Verified Review®. The only certifiably authentic review from your patients that can be digitized and optimized to the front page of the search engines. Many companies offer to place reviews out there on the web for you, but we actually oversee a medical review site with over 20,000 unique visitors a month. Moreover we keep a physical copy of each review our doctors send us. Every review must be signed by the patient and legible to be verified.  Every year we add about 12,000 of these reviews to our website... that's a lot of filing."
 

The strategic business partnership with Credential Protection reinforces OCMA's commitment to bring added value to its members by aligning with companies who offer business practice expertise, allowing physicians to focus their attention on patient care.

About Credential Protection
Credential Protection is a young tech company based in Temecula, California enjoying its third year in business.  It was awarded a top 5 spot in the Vator Splash Los Angeles competition for tech start up companies in 2012. Credential Protection's SEO team is Google Adwords and Analytics certified as of June 2013.  Its designers are Adobe Certified (ACA & ACE) in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. www.credentialprotection.com


ATTN OCMA Members: Amendment to Bylaws for Review

Dear OCMA Membership,

 

 

The Bylaws Committee of the Orange County Medical Association has been meeting over the last year and a half for the purpose of carefully reviewing and updating the organization's by-lawsThe revisions have been approved by the Board of Directors and now need to be approved by the general membership. Therefore, for the next two months (November and December 2013) you may review the revised Bylaws by clicking here. These proposed changes will be available for review until December 31, 2013.

Please submit any comments in writing via email to ocma@ocma.org or mail to 17322 Murphy Avenue, Irvine, CA 92614 and indicate whether you approve the changes.



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