Saturday, August 12, 2017

Government policies helped create the opioid epidemic

The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
Government alone surely cannot solve the nation’s opioid problem, which is tied to many cultural and economic factors. In fact, as we debate the broader role of government in our health sector, we should consider how bad policies have actually contributed to the opioid epidemic by over-emphasizing pain management.

For years, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services included questions about pain management in patient satisfaction surveys that were linked to payment, encouraging a standard of patient-pleasing over good medicine. This fostered a culture that encouraged health care providers to offer pain-relieving prescriptions, popular with patients, without adequate regard for the potential long-term downside to these drugs.
You'll want to read this one all the way through.