This is for our chronic pain management providers.
Surveillance of opioid prescribers, designed to prevent opioid overdose deaths, may actually be having the opposite effect, new research suggests.
The qualitative study, aimed at assessing doctor-patient interactions after a prescription monitoring program (PMP) known as “I-STOP,” which was mandated by New York State in 2013, showed that Staten Island prescribers of opioids are refusing patient requests for the drugs, “are abruptly discontinuing long-term narcotic treatment, and are refusing to accept new patients who are at risk of nonmedical narcotic use,” report investigators.
In addition, clinicians predicted that effects of the program will lead to an increase in the use of heroin and illicit opioids by those dependent on prescription opioids, as well as an increase in state border crossings to obtain prescriptions.
Lead author Sonia Mendoza, research coordinator at New York University and the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, in New York City said that although increased transparency from PMPs offers benefits, this particular program has also led to an increase in discharges upon discovery of diversion.
“We found that a lot of prescribers were afraid that patients would simply go to New Jersey because they had no access to New Jersey’s monitoring program,” said Mendoza.
“They thought it did increase honesty and transparency regarding patients’ behaviors. But at the same time, they didn’t have comprehensive care for the patients, which led to discharges without proper referrals,” she added.
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