Healthcare freelance attorney and physician, Suzanne Fidler, recently wrote an article that was published in the January, 2017 issue of the Riverside Lawyer Magazine. The article, titled “The Opioid Epidemic,” discusses the overuse of narcotic prescription drugs, which has created an opioid epidemic in the United States requiring stricter measures to control physicians’ prescribing patterns as it relates to these pain medications. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently enacted guidelines for physicians to follow when prescribing narcotics to their patients. The Medical Board of California has increased its oversight over physicians prescribing narcotics by reviewing data entered in the Controlled Substances Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) 2.0 system. Physicians should follow standard of care practices and identify red flags to avoid adverse risks to patients and potential sanctions against their licenses.
Suzanne Fidler is currently a freelance healthcare attorney and expert witness affiliated with Montage Legal Group. Suzanne is an MD, ESQ, CPHRM, FACP, and graduated from UCLA and received her MD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She completed internship and residency at UC Davis, and graduated from Chapman Law with honors while practicing as a physician. Suzanne serves clients with a wide variety of healthcare legal issues including federal and state healthcare policies, hospital practices, physician practices, insurance health plans, medical board and professional licensure disciplinary actions, risk management for healthcare providers and hospital systems, patient safety standards, organ transplantation litigation, medical staff bylaws, peer review, medication safety, quality of care initiatives, medical malpractice, healthcare regulations, the Joint Commission regulations, pharmacy, clinical research, administrative policies, Medicare, Medi-cal, and geriatric care.
Below is an introduction to her article, but for the full article, please visit the Riverside Lawyer Magazine – January 2017 Issue.
The Opioid Epidemic
Tragic and untimely deaths from prescription drug overdoses, particularly opioids, have brought attention to what some have called an “opioid epidemic.” Opioids are pain medications such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), morphine (Kadian, Avinza), and codeine. Not only have high-profile stars who have died from overdoses demonstrated the dangerous risks of these prescriptions, but lawsuits against prescribers and publicity about family members and friends who have been affected have contributed to recent guidelines and legislation for containing this apparent epidemic….read more.