PracticeLink Magazine

Spring 2018

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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PracticeLink.com S PRIN g 2018 35 R E F O R M R E C A P Attorneys who, for three years, will focus exclusively on fraud issues related to opioid prescriptions. Law enforcement officials will examine whether physicians prescribe opioids far in excess of their peers. Government initiatives Federal and state governments have launched initiatives to combat abuse of opioids. Among the initiatives: • The federal 21st Century Cures Act has provided $1 billion in funding over two years to fight opioid abuse. More than $140 million is for opioid treatment medication (particularly Naloxone/Narcan) and training of first responders; $200 million will go to community health centers • The FDA is requiring drug companies to develop more post-market data on long-term impact of opioid use • In August 2017, President Trump declared that opioid addiction was "a national emergency," though the statement was not promptly followed by a formal declaration and specific emergency actions • Approximately 20 states require physicians to check a prescription drug monitoring database before prescribing painkillers to a new patient • Some state licensing boards require physicians to receive training on controlled substance guidelines if the physician prescribes controlled substances Medicaid coverage State Medicaid programs provide coverage to more than 650,000 non-elderly adults with opioid addiction. The coverage is mostly likely to be available in the 32 states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). JEFF ATKINSON (JAtkin747@aol.com) is a professor for the Illinois Judicial Conference and has taught health care law at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Win! Find your next practice—and enter to win a $500 gift card—at PracticeLink.com/Win. Drug overdose death rates by race and gender, per 100,000 1999 data by race 2015 data by race 1999 data by gender 2015 data by gender Source: CDC. Data is for 2015. White Black Hispanic Males Females 6.2 21.1 +240% +63% +43% +154% +203% 7.5 12.2 5.4 12.2 8.2 7.7 3.9 20.8 Facts about opioid abuse • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them • More than 2 million people in the United States suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin • The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include: Methadone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone • Each day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for not using prescription opioids as directed Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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