I ran across Dr. Doug Farrago’s blog on this topic and it deserves some additional attention in the fact that he is asking all to write to the AAFP and or the AMA even on this this topic. Doctors already have a number of CME hours each year as part of their continuing education to keep updated and I read the comments where one doctor stated in California his cost was $2000 and of course it’s all done on their own time so nobody gets paid for any of this education time. There are different ways to accrue CME time and credits and some can be done online but that’s usually only partial credits. I thought this was kind of dumb myself, even though I am tech person in this business but have spent a lot of time around doctors offices and seen the rest of their work flow and the patient is the one taking the pills.
Why Is the FDA Focusing on Doctors With Painkillers–Focus Education on Patients Who Take The Pills - MDs Went Through Medical School To Learn How to Prescribe Drugs
What if doctors boycotted their DEA license? As a patient if you let’s say had surgery and the doctor didn’t have his DEA license, it could perhaps require a visit from another doctor to write your prescription? As he says it’s not like they like writing prescriptions for the drugs. In addition, as I mentioned above are we looking at numbers in general here or is this lumping all the ones that run pill mills and write high numbers of scripts too? I think those numbers are all in there so it comes back to interpretation of statistics and algorithmic formulas. I think focusing on those who are writing exceptionally high numbers of scripts is the way to go.
They already have their HMOs or IPA breathing down their back when they think patients didn’t fill their prescriptions as maybe the patient did but it didn’t come back through on the data as the patient saved money and paid $4.00 cash instead of using their insurance plan, cheaper than their co-pay. I’ve been around and heard those comments on evaluations for P4P along with being criticized for not following up on annual breast exams on patients that were no longer alive that the HMO or insurance company had not removed from their records.
Dr. Doug makes a good point here too as to what would be next as required additional time and added cost. If one is seeing a demographic group that has a big concentration of seniors as an example, would they be targeted for diabetes for the next round of additional CME required education and it could go on from there. He asked to spread the word so I’m adding my 2 cents worth. When he talks about a rapidly demoralizing profession take a look at this trailer for the Vanishing Oath and see what being a doctor’ compensation and time is all about as most are not making big bucks as many still think, that was in the past and why many look for salaried jobs if they can find it versus a private practice.
Here’s the information from Dr. Doug with his links telling you where to go to add your input. BD
“I recently emailed everyone about how my parent organization (AAFP) rolled over to a new government initiative that will demand physicians re-train in order to prescribe pain medication. Forget the fact that they are the ones who put out tons of mandates and warnings in the past that we were NOT treating pain adequately. Now they want to add another bureaucratic mandate because it is OUR fault patients are abusing these meds. I recently blogged about this and you can check it out here for more info. Instead of fighting back we are caving in. Enough is enough. I asked people to write in to the AAFP (if they were members) and you can see their responses here .
Thank you all. For those in other specialties, please do the same. Sound the alarm. In fact, a new idea has arisen. If we don't do the "retraining" then we can't prescribe narcotics. Well, that is fine with me and a lot of other docs. Let's BOYCOTT the bastards. It's not like I love giving these drugs anyway. We must stand together on this or they will make us retrain on any new bureaucratic initiative they can think of (diabetes, rectal exams, auscultation, rapid strep, etc). Please spread this around and save what autonomy is left in this rapidly demoralizing profession.”