Page 30

RecoveryPlus Workplace

Recovery Plus: Workplace wellbeing 30 September 2016 Drug testing (cont'd) "Between 2000-2009, some tests paid for by Medicare increased by about 3,172,910%!" The fix: get simple (2). Protect the life of the person in front of you. People do not always realise that some combinations of drugs can cause harmful, sometimes even fatal, reactions. Patients seeing multiple specialists can, wittingly or unwittingly, omit vital information during their assessment. Conducting a thorough baseline test is done by many facilities to get a “deep dive” into the habits of the patient. The fear: they're gunna getchya! The government (gasp!) also has strong opinions about how providers should make their in-office testing decisions. In the US, the Drug Enforcement Agency is a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use in the US. Aside from being the subject of countless legendary crime dramas and action movies, it bears the real and daunting responsibility of monitoring and controlling prescription drug diversion. The DEA is just one of many government entities with a specific set of guidelines on testing programmes. The DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) has also published opinions about testing, and the conveniently alliterative offices of Medicare and Medicaid have anti-kickback laws on state and federal levels that they are not afraid to use to prosecute unscrupulous individuals and labs. Nor should they be. The UK and elsewhere have equivalent set-ups. Why they're scary: a quick history of pee for profit. In the past five years, prescription monitoring has become big business. “Between 2000 and 2009, the total number of CLIA-waived drug tests paid for by Medicare and conducted in physicians‘ offices increased by approximately 3,172,910%” January 2016 Pain News Network. Digging into the numbers, we see that only “101 tests were conducted in 2000, and by 2009 that number rose to just over 3.2 million tests. Furthermore, during that same time period and within the specialty of anesthesiology, CLIAwaived drug tests increased 63,687,900%”. The annual cost of drug testing in pain management is estimated at $2billion a year. A November 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal reported that some physicians are making more money from drug testing patients than from treating them. Millennium Health, the largest drug testing laboratory for pain management providers, was recently fined $256million by the US Department Continued on page 39


RecoveryPlus Workplace
To see the actual publication please follow the link above