By Ed Coghlan.
Medicare says it needs to expand oversight efforts to reduce the risk of harm and has released a three plan idea that one chronic pain advocate calls a “dangerous and ill-begotten document that transforms the CDC policy into a framework of dose management that has nothing to do with healthcare or patients.”
For Terri Lewis, PhD it is something the chronic pain community should fight.
More than 14 million people received opioid prescriptions in 2016 through the Medicare drug benefit program, Part D. However, the GAO claims that Medicare “lacks information on most beneficiaries at risk of harm.”
The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) does not believe that Medicare (The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services/CMS) capture data on an even larger population of beneficiaries potentially at risk of harm from high doses of opioids.
The recommendations are:
1. The Administrator of CMS gathers information over time on the number of Medicare beneficiaries at risk of harm from opioids, including those who receive high opioid morphine equivalent doses regardless of the number of pharmacies or providers.
2. The Administrator of CMS requires its contractor, National Benefit Integrity Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor, to identify and conduct analyses on providers who prescribe high amounts of opioids separately from providers who prescribe high amounts of any Schedule II drug.
3. The Administrator of CMS should require plan sponsors to report to CMS on investigations and other actions taken related to providers who prescribe high amounts of opioids.
“We need to demand in no uncertain terms that this document be recalled or retracted,” Lewis said.
For a link to the GAO Recommendations which were issued earlier in November, go here.