Florida’s physician services sector is getting serious about an issue that has been making newspaper headlines across the country – pill mill busts.
The state’s “pill mill bill,” which passed in July, has been successful in stopping physicians from writing excessive prescriptions for potent (and potentially deadly) pain medications.
According to a recent “Fierce Practice Management” article, “registered pain clinics in Florida already have decreased from 930 last year to 736 as a result of the crackdown.”
Because other states besides Florida are cracking down, addicts from both the Sunshine State as well as Kentucky are quickly seeking patient care outside the states in which they reside, in order to get their pain medications prescribed. Georgia is one state, in particular, that has recently seen a hefty increase in out-of-state patients.
A study by the 2010 “Annals of Internal Medicine” had found “patients with chronic pain taking a 100 mg morphine-equivalent daily dose are nine times likelier to overdose than patients on 20 mg, critics say that the measure still misses the mark.”
“While this is extremely well-intended, it sends exactly the wrong message–that you don’t need to be concerned or vigilant until you get to high doses,” said Dr. Scott M. Fishman, former president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, who spoke on behalf of the Academy and is chief of the pain medicine division at the University of California Davis Health System. “Doctors need to be concerned from day one.”