Monday, May 3, 2010

What Do You Think About This?

States want to share patient Rx use to curb abuse

LOS ANGELES – On his night shift in a busy emergency room, Dr. Jacob Khushigian inevitably finds a few patients more likely to be hunting for drugs than medical attention.

The guy who claims he has severe abdominal pain doesn't grimace when sitting up. A woman who recently moved to the area fails to disclose she sees a doctor elsewhere. An ambulance patient complaining of a sore leg and back doesn't reveal she was turned away by another hospital.

There was a time Khushigian's hunches took weeks to confirm and required phoning or faxing the attorney general's office to obtain a patient's prescription drug information. Nowadays, a computer helps him catch cheaters. But it can only reach so far.

While a state online drug database went into effect last year to thwart addicts who bounce from doctor to doctor to feed a habit or make a small fortune peddling meds, there's now a push to extend it beyond state lines to snare so-called doctor shoppers and curb drug abuse.


So what do you think? Is this okay? Where does the common good meet patient's rights?

10 comments:

Z said...

sorry, I'm just going to relish in the fact that this is a story that paints an Armenian doctor in a good light...you can't believe how many Russian Armenians have spoiled the 100 year long excellent reputation Armenians in LA had until the Commie Armenians started coming.
So, no comment about the appalling info..I'm just going to bask in a noninsulting Armenian mention !! :-)

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

It's fine with me if hospitals, doctors and pharmacists share information about my prescription history, especially if something a doctor may prescribe might interact with one of my meds.

It's not like they're revealing it to the L.A. Times. So I say no problem, go for it.

Chuck said...

Z, agreed

LA, this is kind of where I come down on the issue

Mustang said...

I think it's fine to make a digital record of meds prescribed, on what date, by whom, and for what. But I know here in my state, police departments are so under-funded, this is one of their last concerns. A law without enforcement isn't worth the paper its written on, or in this case, an expensive DB Program.

Semper Fi

Brooke said...

Drug shoppers are a problem, but I'm not comfortable with the State having even more info on me.

If a state network is set up, how long before the Fed, who wants to be in charge of a very large chunk of healthcare, insists it needs access to the lists?

I don't know. I don't think I like it.

LomaAlta said...

Brooke beat me to what I had to say. I don't like the Idea and I bet it will all wind up in the feds hands, legislation permitting it or not.

Too much potential for Big Brother to abuse it.

Chuck said...

Mustang, there is that. States have no money right now

Brooke, I tend to be okay with it if there is limited access and safeguards against release. For instance, I don't think insurance companies should be allowed the data. In Michigan, we have this system. It's called MAPS and only physicians and Pharmacists have access as far as I know.

LomaAlta, I can agree with that too. I think the governments ONLY interest in this is compiling the data. No sharing with the DEA, etc.

MK said...

I believe we have this here in Australia already, and i haven't heard of it being a big deal.

Chuck said...

MK, I'm not concerned about it one way or another quite frankly

Phill Senters said...

I think this would be fine if there were safeguards to prevent insurance companies accessing the data and penalties for doing so that would make it unprofitable if they did.