AffirmHealth Blog



Apr 26, 2018 11:09:33 AM by Jody Lutz posted in Healthcare, Opioid Epidemic, Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, opioid prescribing compliance, patient risk, DEA


On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Drug Enforcement Administration will partner with local agencies across the country for the 15th Take Back Day. This opportunity is another initiative to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous.

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What's in the Cup: A Urine Drug Testing Primer

Apr 24, 2018 5:07:00 AM by Jody Lutz and Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, Urine Drug Testing

Urine drug testing (UDT) is a critical tool for patients on chronic opioid therapy.  It is also one of the most misunderstood. 

As most states have updated their opioid prescribing guidelines over the past two years, nearly every one now includes a requirement to conduct urine drug screening in certain populations. Unfortunately, many of these recommendations have been developed in isolation with variances across the level of testing to conduct, testing frequency, and guidelines required for medical necessity.

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Are You Effectively Assessing Risk When Prescribing Opioids?

Apr 3, 2018 5:04:00 AM by John Cole posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, opioid prescribing, risk assessment

The staggering rate of prescription opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose has placed a heavy burden on prescribing clinicians and their practices. Federal and state regulators have responded by enacting extensive opioid prescribing guidelines. Across the board, these guidelines prioritize the importance of properly assessing a patient’s risk of misuse or abuse.

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Opioid Prescribing Guidelines: A State-by-State Overview

Feb 20, 2018 10:11:37 AM by Jody Lutz posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, opioid prescribing

As the opioid epidemic continues to dominate our national attention, states are enacting rules on opioids, on benzodiazepines, and other controlled substances. 

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A Platform to Facilitate Opioid Prescribing Compliance

Feb 15, 2018 7:30:00 AM by Dr. John "Rett" Blake posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, opioid prescribing, opioid prescribing compliance

The Challenges Facing Pain Management Clinicians

Managing pain patients can be a scary thing these days. It seems that every time I open the newspaper or check my email I read a story about a doctor getting into trouble of some sort or another related to prescribing opioids. There are cases of doctors being federally prosecuted and convicted of criminal charges, instances of physicians losing their medical licenses from state medical boards, and plenty of examples of providers getting dropped from insurance networks for having prescribing patterns that don’t line up well with the company’s metrics. As such,  companies now examine claims data from insurance companies and measure the performance of healthcare providers relative to their peers or other set measures. These comparisons can then be used against those providers. In short, with constantly inscreasing regulations around prescribing and managing chronic pain, there is no shortage of ways to get into trouble when it comes to prescribing controlled substances.

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Determine Risk and Demonstrate Medical Necessity When Prescribing Opioids

Feb 5, 2018 10:00:00 AM by Jody Lutz posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, opioid prescribing, Medical Necessity

Defining Patient Risk and the Challenges of EHR Integration

How does your practice define patient risk to decide the services you may provide, the laboratory tests you may order and/or the prescriptions you may write? Another important question in today’s environment--How do you document these multi-layered facets within your EHR system?

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AffirmHealth: Beyond Pain Management

Jan 9, 2018 10:45:47 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Smarter Pain Management, Clinical Tools, Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, Chronic Pain Guidelines

One of the questions we get most frequently when we discuss AffirmHealth is, “who are your customers?”  It’s a fair question and broadly speaking, our customers are two-fold:  clinical providers and the patients they serve.  The second follow on question that occasionally comes up is, “do you want to get rid of all opioids?”  To be clear, our goal is not to eliminate opioids.  In fact, we firmly believe in the viable role that opioids have in pain management.  But we also believe that responsible opioid prescribing must be practiced within the boundaries of a relationship founded on trust between the physician and the patient.  Our products are designed to help develop that relationship so that both providers and patients can manage these prescriptions as safely as possible.  Recognizing that different medical specialties have different regulatory demands, we offer solutions in three practice areas:

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Prescription Drug Monitoring: What Every Doctor or Nurse Should Know

Aug 18, 2016 1:14:08 PM by Mitch Evans posted in Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, opioid prescribing, prescription drug monitoring

As prescription opioid use and abuse has surged over the past decade [1], Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, or PDMPs, have become a cornerstone of state opioid prescribing guidelines in efforts to help promote responsible opioid prescribing. Let’s drill down into the basics of the programs.

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