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Audit finds problems with opioid treatment programs

Nov 27, 2018 2:00 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union New York auditors say the state's opioid treatment programs are not doing enough to ensure patient health and safety. This is largely due to their failure to utilize the state's prescription monitoring program. That program, known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing, or I-STOP, requires all prescribers in the state to use electronic prescriptions. The system provides access to a patient prescription history in an effort prevent over-prescribing and doctor-shopping for multiple prescriptions. Under the law, treatment programs are required to check this registry every time they dispense medicine. The audit by the state Comptroller's Office published November 26, found that during a four-year period from October 2013, through September 2017, more than 18,700 Medicaid patients were receiving prescription opioids outside of their addiction treatment regimens. Of those patients, 3 percent required medical care for an overdose that occurred within a month of receiving that prescription. Twelve died from overdose. The audit also looked at the records of 25 Medicaid recipients who were receiving opioids outside of their treatment regimen. The review found that I-STOP was checked just 18 times for the 25 recipients and none of the treatment programs were checking the registry when a take-home dose of medicine was dispensed. Read the full story in the Times Union.