Weekend Round Up: Healthcare Databases, Chronic Pain Patients Feel Caught in Debate and State Updates for Florida, and Connecticut

With opioid prescribing regulations being updated, national policy announcements, state guidelines as well as daily commentary regarding the opioid epidemic flooding news outlets, the AffirmHealth Weekend Round Up looks at the top headlines that caught our team’s eye. From controlled substance protocols to research focusing on pain management, addiction medicine, the ER and more provided to you in an easy to access summary. News you can use. Welcome to the Weekend Round Up.


NATIONAL NEWS: Healthcare Databases

June 29, 2018

Databases Key To Trump’s Crackdown on Opioids

Source: politico.com

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Bolstered by harsh law-and-order rhetoric from President Donald Trump and his aides, police around the country are using electronic databases to unleash a vast crackdown on opioid abusers and the allegedly crooked doctors who sustain them. 

The databases are helping to reduce opioid prescriptions, which have fallen by nearly a third since 2011. Police and disciplinary boards use the records systems to roll up “pill mills,” tag patients who “doctor shop” for multiple pills, and warn doctors about prescribing patterns that stray from norms.

Analysis of that data was instrumental in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions described Thursday as the biggest health care fraud crackdown in Justice Department history. Among the 601 individuals indicted were 76 doctors charged with allegedly illegal prescribing or distributing opioids and other narcotics.

Find the Full Article Here: Databases Key in Opioid Fight


NATIONAL NEWS: Opioid Epidemic

July 8, 2018

Patients With Chronic Pain Feel Caught In An Opioid Prescribing Debate

Source: NPR

AffirmHealth Key Take Aways:

Faced with skyrocketing drug overdoses, states are cracking down on opioid prescribing. Increasingly, some patients with chronic pain say they are becoming collateral damage.

More than two dozen states have implemented laws or policies limiting opioid prescriptions in some way. The most common is to restrict a patient's first prescription to a number of pills that should last a week or less. But some states like Arizona have gone further by placing a ceiling on the maximum dose for most patients.

Find the Full Article Here: Chronic Pain Patients Feel Caught in Debate



July 6, 2018

Florida Now Has One of the Strictest Opioid Prescribing Laws in the Country

Source: firstcoastnews.com

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

On July 1, Florida enacted one of the strictest opioid prescribing laws in the country. It’s all in response to the opioid epidemic that killed more than 42,000 people in 2016 according to the CDC.

The new law that went into effect July 1st in Florida means doctors are now only be able to write a prescription for a three-day supply of opioids for acute pain, or a seven-day supply if its needed -based on the professional judgment of the prescriber.

Find the full article here: New Florida Opioid Prescribing Laws


STATE NEWS: Connecticut

July 5, 2018

UConn Health, Jackson Lab to Collaborate On Statewide Pain Consortium

Source: Connecticut Courant

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

At a time when the danger of opioids is clear, UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory are collaborating to form the Connecticut Pain Consortium.

Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher, who will lead the consortium and is a joint faculty member at UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory, said the consortium will focus on researching the causes of pain, as well as pain management and how to translate that research into new therapies.

He said the opioid crisis has brought the issue of pain management to the forefront, but the consortium is “not, per se, focused on the opioid crisis.”

“The opioid crisis is a symptom of how we don’t quite know how to deal with the treatment of pain,” said Laubenbacher. “The real source of the problem is precisely that we need to know much more about how to diagnose pain and how to treat it.”

Find the Full Article Here: CT Pain Consortium: UConn Health and Jackson Laboratory


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