March 26, 2012

Can Medicare, Medicaid play role in pain killer addiction treatment?

Is it is possible that Medicare and Medicaid can help play a role in preventing and treating the over prescribing, misuse and heavy addiction issues in the United States to pain killers and other drugs? One U.S. Senator believes so.

Last week, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., according to The State Journal of West Virginia, spoke at the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care bringing up the national state of pain killer and prescription drug abuse issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also said prescription drug use is an “epidemic.”

Rockefeller says the availability of powerful prescription drugs has “gotten ahead” of society’s ability to prescribe them safely. In some states, Medicaid manages prescriptions to ensure proper use.

Another frequently used method is to track the sale or use of prescription pain killers and other drugs. They are usually called Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. The program in one state is linked to the programs in others to prevent doctor shopping.

And if someone is discovered “doctor shopping” they can be referred to treatment. If they are using the drugs to make a profit, they will be prosecuted.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Coben, director of the West Virginia University Injury Control Research Center, Medicare and Medicaid programs play an important role in promoting the use of health information technology.

To read the entire article and Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s statements, click here.

Overdose from prescription pain killers is now one of the leading causes of accidental death in the U.S.

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