Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust

  1. #1
    Sage

    JacksinPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Last Seen
    05-05-19 @ 04:14 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Progressive
    Posts
    8,386

    Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust

    Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust - Reuters

    Reuters) - Dozens of medical professionals in Appalachia, a region hard-hit by the U.S. opioid crisis, have been charged with writing hundreds of thousands of illegal prescriptions and committing health care fraud, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

    Sixty people, including 31 doctors, were accused of illegally prescribing opioid drugs in exchange for cash and sexual favors in the rural, mountainous region stretching from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Alabama and Louisiana.
    ==============================================
    Every time i encounter the geographic term 'Appalachia' I think of the classic movie 'Deliverance.'
    'Make America great' - Benito Mussolini, Fascist Dictator, 1927 newsreel clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5l_r8MG5II

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 10:50 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    10,260

    Re: Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust

    Part I of II

    Quote Originally Posted by JacksinPA View Post
    Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust - Reuters

    Reuters) - Dozens of medical professionals in Appalachia, a region hard-hit by the U.S. opioid crisis, have been charged with writing hundreds of thousands of illegal prescriptions and committing health care fraud, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

    Sixty people, including 31 doctors, were accused of illegally prescribing opioid drugs in exchange for cash and sexual favors in the rural, mountainous region stretching from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Alabama and Louisiana.
    ==============================================
    Every time i encounter the geographic term 'Appalachia' I think of the classic movie 'Deliverance.'
    Red:
    Well, that's the first time I've seen anyone depict LA as part of Appalachia.





    Not even as a quasi-cultural term have I before seen that term applied to LA.
    • The Appalachian Region, as defined in ARC's authorizing legislation, is a 205,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

      Forty-two percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20% of the national population.

      The Appalachian Region's economy, once highly dependent on mining, forestry, agriculture, chemical industries, and heavy industry, has become more diversified in recent times, and now includes manufacturing and professional service industries.

      Appalachia has come a long way in the past five decades: its poverty rate, 31% in 1960, was 16.7% over the 2012-2016 period. The number of high-poverty counties in the Region (those with poverty rates more than 1.5 times the U.S. average) declined from 295 in 1960 to 93 over the 2012-2016 period.


    (continued due to character limit)

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Last Seen
    Yesterday @ 10:50 PM
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    10,260

    Re: Dozens of doctors in Appalachia charged in opioid fraud bust

    Part II of II

    Blue/Off-topic:
    The so-called opioid crisis is a crisis that, on multiple levels, simply doesn't make sense to me.
    • Unlike prior drug-abuse related crises, people aren't on street corners peddling the stuff. Some folks may recall the crack, weed and PCP crisis DC had back in the 80s. People were on street corners -- in popular entertainment areas and in depressed neighborhoods -- literally on the street selling drugs. Even just driving through, one'd see sellers subtly gesture to attract passers by. Having such a vibrant marketplace made it very easy to obtain the products.

      While similar behavior may these days occur in places, it's certainly not occurring in DC, or in the small MD and WVa towns I visit or pass through en route to my cabin in WVa. So how are folks coming by these illegal opioids?
    • Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic: Balancing Societal and Individual Benefits and Risks of Prescription Opioid Use
      • "The opioid epidemic's toll is felt across the life span and in every socio-demographic group, but more heavily burdens vulnerable populations, such as those in economically depressed areas of the country."
      • HHS "data suggest that at least 2 million Americans have an OUD [opioid use disorder] involving prescribed opioids," ~600K being a heroin OUD.
      • The crisis "lies at the intersection of two substantial public health challenges -- reducing the burden of suffering from pain and containing the rising toll of the harms that can result from the use of opioid medications."
        • This is where this crisis doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand how one having actual pain (beyond what four ibuprofens will abate) gets hooked on the painkiller. Everyone (literally) I've known who's had such pain, myself included, says the same thing:
          • Prescribed opioid meds abate the pain enough to let them disregard the pain, but when they don't feel pain, they don't feel inclined to take the pain meds.
        • They don't take the meds "just because" or "just in case," so they don't get addicted because rather than feeling high, they merely feel normal, or near enough to it that they can go about their business sans pain. Of course, if one isn't in pain, or in enough pain to warrant opioid meds, and takes such meds, well, yes, I understand how one will become addicted to them.
        • I'm obviously not the only one thinking "how the hell does this addiction develop." The report notes: "Little is known about why individuals who use prescribed opioids to alleviate pain develop opioid dependence or OUD;" however, it's also noted that the problem pertains to chronic pain sufferers rather than acute pain sufferers.
          • "Opioids have long been used for the effective management of acute pain (e.g., acute postsurgical and postprocedural pain), but available evidence does not support effectiveness for the long-term use of opioids for chronic pain management. On the other hand, evidence indicates that patients taking opioids long-term are at increased risk of OUD and opioid overdose." (Note: the report specifically excludes cancer-caused pain from the preceding depiction of opioid use to abate chronic pain.)

    This so-called crisis looks like to me like the coalescence of:
    • Folks misrepresenting the nature and extent of their pain.
    • Doctors not being able to accurately assess the nature and extent of folks' pain, and thus prescribing either too much and/or too powerful pain meds.
    • Folks abusing their access to others' pain meds. (The above referenced study notes that a large share of pain sufferers in rural areas are elderly.)



    End of post pair.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •