New crusade for loathsome nanny-state mayor: Limiting painkillers in public hospital ERs

posted at 3:21 pm on January 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

The only redeeming virtue of this bit of paternalistic sadism is that it’ll make great oppo in case this tool tries to be a national player in 2014 or 2016. Lord knows he has the bank to do it, as well as a political brand carefully engineered to make soft-headed centrists and media types swoon. He’s a Democrat who pretends to claim the partisan high ground by identifying as a no-labels independent, a man of “solutions” who’s on the case when it comes to poor people limping home from the emergency room with an extra day of painkillers but not when it comes to preparing the country’s biggest city for hurricanes.

There are new reasons every week why I’m glad he left the GOP, and now here’s this week’s. Imagine a card-carrying Republican instituting this policy and then defending it by shrugging and saying, “So you didn’t get enough painkillers and you did have to suffer a little bit. The other side of the coin is people are dying and there’s nothing perfect.”

Under the new city policy, most public hospital patients will no longer be able to get more than three days’ worth of narcotic painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet. Long-acting painkillers, including OxyContin, a familiar remedy for chronic backache and arthritis, as well as Fentanyl patches and methadone, will not be dispensed at all. And lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions will not be refilled.

City officials said the policy was aimed at reducing the growing dependency on painkillers and preventing excess amounts of drugs from being taken out of medicine chests and sold on the street or abused by teenagers and others who want to get high…

City health officials said the guidelines would not apply to patients who need prescriptions for cancer pain or palliative care, and drugs would still be available outside the emergency room. They said that in this era of patient-satisfaction surveys, doctors were often afraid to make patients unhappy by refusing drugs when they are requested, and the rules would give those doctors some support when they suspected that a patient might be faking pain to get drugs.

“There will be no chance that the patients who need pain relief will not get pain relief,” said Dr. Ross Wilson, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs the city’s public hospitals.

Of course there’s a chance. Bloomberg’s quote about people possibly having to suffer accepts it as a price of preventing addiction. But I don’t see the point of denying painkillers to ER patients but not patients elsewhere in the hospital. The thinking is, I guess, that impoverished addicts are more likely to try to game the ER for their fix than other wings of the hospital, but I’d bet it’s also true that the average ER patient is more urgently in need of painkillers than patients in those other wings. As with the gun-control debate, he’s letting the worst actors drive policy for society at large regardless of how many law-abiding people are inadvertently punished by its overbreadth — except that this is worse because most addicts, unlike most aspiring mass shooters, will ultimately hurt only themselves. He could, of course, simply let doctors judge whether a patient is trying to game them and deny painkillers on a case by case basis, but while that might make for sounder policy, it would deny Bloomy the opportunity to Do Something about a social problem which he thinks deserves more attention. So if you’re a New Yorker laid up at home with back pain because the prescription from the city hospital’s ER just ran out, take comfort in that. Your mayor Did Something.

Exit question: If painkillers will be available in the rest of the hospital, won’t sympathetic ER doctors and nurses simply “borrow” drugs from other wings for their patients who really need them?


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As somebody who relies on pain killers to function, this is infuriating. The stigma is already so awful that I sometimes feel like loser drug user even though I live in chronic pain. It is mentally exhausting not only to live in pain, but to constantly be on the defensive about it and be treated like a criminal.

Having said that, I LOATH all of the pain killer abusers who make it harder for people like me to get the treatment we need.

Jackalope on January 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

same here. 2 neurologists have told me same pain level as stage 4 bone cancer yet I have to pay the price of other idiots messing around.

dmacleo on January 11, 2013 at 5:02 PM

same here. 2 neurologists have told me same pain level as stage 4 bone cancer yet I have to pay the price of other idiots messing around.

dmacleo on January 11, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Blame the illegal (because of the lack of Constitutional Amendment) “drug war” for this.

Almost everything bad can be traced to some over reach of government power.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

This is a huge problem Allah.

Yes, and? Then train doctors to better detect which patients are faking. Don’t impose a top-down solution that would deny me the right to get painkillers when I need them. Do you also think we should deny everyone the right to own guns because gun violence is also a huge problem?

Allahpundit on January 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Nobody is denying you the right to pain killers when you need them Allah. ER care is for emergencies. You can get a longer prescription from your doctor who is in a better position and environment to determine your needs and situation.

You said yourself that you did not understand why this rule applies to ER care and not other parts of the same hospital. The article I linked to explained why. It’s a sensible measure which will make ER care easier and safer.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

And which Medical School did this nitwit graduate from? Is he going to diagnose each one that comes to the ER to decide what meds they need and prescribe accordingly? I think not.

This is just another example of where our politics have come to and it was this guy who had the term limits changed so that he could have another term to accomplish the nonsense he has and intends to have. God save us from ourselves because we don’t have the intelligence and good sense to send these guys into early retirement.

Pardonme on January 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

day 1 gets injured, goes to Er gets script.
day 2 tries to get follow up appt somewhere.
day 14 sees next Dr.
yeah good idea.

dmacleo on January 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Nobody is denying you the right to pain killers when you need them Allah. ER care is for emergencies. You can get a longer prescription from your doctor who is in a better position and environment to determine your needs and situation.

You said yourself that you did not understand why this rule applies to ER care and not other parts of the same hospital. The article I linked to explained why. It’s a sensible measure which will make ER care easier and safer.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

The problem I have with this is that Bloomberg is no doctor. He is no expert, he’s just a tyrant.

This makes no more sense than Bloomberg setting the standard for how many rivets are to be driven into steel joints on a Hudson River bridge instead of letting the Engineers decide. With much the same results, suffering and collapsed bridges…

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

day 1 gets injured, goes to Er gets script.
day 2 tries to get follow up appt somewhere.
day 14 sees next Dr.
yeah good idea.

dmacleo on January 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

No, what they will do is go to the next ER, then to the next ER… It will make it a little harder on the Looter class. But as we’ve seen, one think Looters will actually work HARD at is acquiring “free stuff”. During the “Obamaphone” controversy it was easy to find documentation of some of these wastes of humanity in possession of not one, but SEVERAL “Obamaphones”.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Nobody is denying you the right to pain killers when you need them Allah. ER care is for emergencies. You can get a longer prescription from your doctor who is in a better position and environment to determine your needs and situation.

You said yourself that you did not understand why this rule applies to ER care and not other parts of the same hospital. The article I linked to explained why. It’s a sensible measure which will make ER care easier and safer.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I have an auto-immune disease. It takes months to see a Rheumy. When my disease suddenly flares, I have no recourse but to visit an ER. Obamacare will make accessibility even worse to the specialists I need. So yes, with restrictions YOU ARE DENYING me pain meds if the ER doctor sees fit to prescribe them.

Bloomberg could care less about addicts or chronic pain victims. He only cares about having power over people.

melle1228 on January 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

“There will be no chance that the patients who need pain relief will not get pain relief,” said Dr. Ross Wilson

THE NANNY STATE IS GOD-LIKE IN IT’S WISDOM.

GarandFan on January 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

The problem I have with this is that Bloomberg is no doctor. He is no expert, he’s just a tyrant.

This makes no more sense than Bloomberg setting the standard for how many rivets are to be driven into steel joints on a Hudson River bridge instead of letting the Engineers decide. With much the same results, suffering and collapsed bridges…

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

What I find funny is liberals defense of abortion is that it gets into doctor/patient relationship- you know privacy issues. And yet, this does exactly the same thing.

melle1228 on January 11, 2013 at 5:23 PM

The problem I have with this is that Bloomberg is no doctor. He is no expert, he’s just a tyrant.

wildcat72 on January 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM

lol… you make it sound like he came up with this on his own. Do your own research and you will see that this has been in the works and is based on input from law enforcement and the medical profession who have been looking into the issue for some time.

Have a look yourself at the report.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Then you’re arguing that the policy is meaningless. Addicts will simply get the proper prescription on day three, no? The bottom line is that doctors are better positioned to make these calls ad hoc than with a bright-line rule.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

No, I am arguing that the policy does precisely what it is intended to do: allow those in need of immediate pain relief to get it, and keep pain meds out of the hands of addicts and those who profit from addicts.

As several posters have pointed out, three days worth of pain meds are enough for most if not all ER situations. Should a patient need meds for a longer period, a return trip to the doctor would allow him or her another prescription if the doctor felt it was warranted.

But I don’t see the point of denying painkillers to ER patients but not patients elsewhere in the hospital.

ER patients are not being denied painkillers. They are being denied more than three days worth.

He could, of course, simply let doctors judge whether a patient is trying to game them and deny painkillers on a case by case basis

In actuality, this policy forces doctors to be more diligent in judging whether a patient is trying to game them, as the patient must return in three days and justify to the doctor his need for more meds.

So if you’re a New Yorker laid up at home with back pain because the prescription from the city hospital’s ER just ran out, take comfort in that.

Chronic back pain is not an ER situation. The initial injury that may lead to chronic back pain may be, but by the time of a diagnosis for chronic back pain and the need for accompanying pain meds arises, we are beyond the ER and this legislation.

As with the gun-control debate, he’s letting the worst actors drive policy for society at large regardless of how many law-abiding people are inadvertently punished by its overbreadth — except that this is worse because most addicts, unlike most aspiring mass shooters, will ultimately hurt only themselves.

Wrong analogy. This is more analogous to criminal background and mental health checks that would keeps guns out of the hands of bad actors. Even Ben Shapiro is on board with that one, much to Piers Morgan’s chagrin.

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

What I find funny is liberals defense of abortion is that it gets into doctor/patient relationship- you know privacy issues. And yet, this does exactly the same thing.

melle1228 on January 11, 2013 at 5:23 PM

No it doesn’t. It is limited to ER care and certain types of painkillers.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM

No it doesn’t. It is limited to ER care and certain types of painkillers.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM

No it is making decisions for doctors and patients. Something hypocritical liberals claim they are against unless it gives them power.

ER patients are not being denied painkillers. They are being denied more than three days worth.

In which they will just go to another ER. And the taxpayers will be on the hook for a visit every three days. Bravo, the law just stopped NOTHING!

melle1228 on January 11, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I have no prescription painkillers and rarely need any other than the occasional ibuprofen, but every time I see Gloomyturd’s face I’m seriously in need of painkilling and I’m tempted to reach for a strong one.

stukinIL4now on January 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Nobody is denying you the right to pain killers when you need them Allah. ER care is for emergencies. You can get a longer prescription from your doctor who is in a better position and environment to determine your needs and situation.

You said yourself that you did not understand why this rule applies to ER care and not other parts of the same hospital. The article I linked to explained why. It’s a sensible measure which will make ER care easier and safer.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I have an auto-immune disease. It takes months to see a Rheumy. When my disease suddenly flares, I have no recourse but to visit an ER. Obamacare will make accessibility even worse to the specialists I need. So yes, with restrictions YOU ARE DENYING me pain meds if the ER doctor sees fit to prescribe them.

Bloomberg could care less about addicts or chronic pain victims. He only cares about having power over people.

melle1228 on January 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I have a friend with a similar condition and the attacks are horribly painful. I’m sorry you have to endure that. She She worked it out with her doctor so she has a course at home for when it strikes so she doesn’t have to go to an ER or schedule and emergency appointment.

To be clear… I am not denying you anything.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Screwing Americans one narcissist at a time: First Dr. Obama opined that instead of hip replacement surgery we should just take a pain pill, but now Dr. Bloomberg wants to limit pain pills. So I guess that leaves us with Baby Aspirin reaching new heights of popularity as a one-size-fits-all elixir for the little people.

Buy Danish on January 11, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Suffer badly Bloomberg. Suffer.

Bmore on January 11, 2013 at 5:47 PM

In which they will just go to another ER. And the taxpayers will be on the hook for a visit every three days. Bravo, the law just stopped NOTHING!

melle1228 on January 11, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Wrong. You really should read the report at the link that lexhamfox helpfully provided. The legislation includes provisions that require the updating and modernizing of databases that record and monitor patient prescriptions. Anyone hopping from ER to ER for painkillers would immediately be redlined.

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 5:52 PM

No, I am arguing that the policy does precisely what it is intended to do: allow those in need of immediate pain relief to get it, and keep pain meds out of the hands of addicts and those who profit from addicts.

It doesn’t so that at all. An addict can still get a three-day fix if he’s willing and able to game an ER doctor. A useful policy would help doctors try to distinguish addicts from non-addicts. This doesn’t. It’s a blunt, across-the-board, overbroad time-limited restriction.

In actuality, this policy forces doctors to be more diligent in judging whether a patient is trying to game them, as the patient must return in three days and justify to the doctor his need for more meds.

Just the opposite. Now that the doctor knows he can only give three days’ worth, he might as well prescribe to anyone who asks. If the doctor has discretion to prescribe as much he wants, then he needs to be diligent. Greater personal responsibility requires greater caution.

Chronic back pain is not an ER situation. The initial injury that may lead to chronic back pain may be, but by the time of a diagnosis for chronic back pain and the need for accompanying pain meds arises, we are beyond the ER and this legislation.

There are people in this very thread complaining about the logistical problems of limiting initial painkillers to three days. But look, it’s pointless to debate this. You think taking power out of doctors’ hands is fine, and that there’ll be no instances where someone will find himself unable to get a new prescription on the fourth day after an ER visit. Understood.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

It doesn’t so that at all. An addict can still get a three-day fix if he’s willing and able to game an ER doctor. A useful policy would help doctors try to distinguish addicts from non-addicts. This doesn’t. It’s a blunt, across-the-board, overbroad time-limited restriction.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

You didn’t bother to look at what NYC is proposing. You really should.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 6:04 PM

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 6:04 PM

A lot of careful planning went into the Final Solution before that was implemented. I guess careful planning excuses all.

NotCoach on January 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Allahpundit on January 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM

As you are so intent on pushing the meme that this policy takes power out of a doctor’s hand, I just spoke to a doctor.

She is an oncologist, who deals with dying cancer patients in chronic pain every day. He ex husband is an ER doctor.

I told her about Bloomberg’s policy. She agrees with it.

According to her, her ex husband used to complain incessantly about the amount of his time that was wasted by addicts seeking pain meds. This is a huge problem; Bloomberg is not making it up.

In her opinion, ER doctors have no business prescribing any medication for anything chronic. For an ER situation in which the patient is discharged that day, 3-days of pain medication is more than enough. In a car crash situation, gunshots wounds, or other traumatic events where initial contact with a medical professional occurs in the ER, the patient would be admitted to the hospital where this policy does not apply.

You should read the report at the link that lexhamfox provided. The database would take care of doctors who give out blanket 3-day prescriptions to anyone who asked. They would be redlined as pill pushers.

Doctors, as well as patients, can be bad actors. Addicts, pill pushers, maybe a little sideline business. The three day limit is a limit on them as well as on the patient. Or should we just trust them to do the right thing?

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I take a fairly high dose of morphine on a daily basis. I have never abused it. The abusers have created such a huge mess that getting my scrip filled is akin to jumping through hoops. Flaming hoops. I have opted not to go to the ER at times simply because the staff does not take the time to investigate whether I am a ‘drug seeker’ or a patient with a legitimate problem. In my state (Michigan) we do have a system in place to easily identify a patient who is merely seeking a fix (MAPS). The problem is that apparently it is either not mandatory to report/check, or some people will not bother. There is a way to get a handle on the problem without the nanny government dictating what a patient can or cannot have. Bloomberg should not be sticking his nose where it does not belong.

manyears on January 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 6:04 PM

A lot of careful planning went into the Final Solution before that was implemented. I guess careful planning excuses all.

NotCoach on January 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Yeah this is just like the Holocaust!

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 6:49 PM

This is a response to bureaucratic programs several years ago that have given us an out of control, narcotic seeking patient problem. The ER is filled with patients who are not acutely ill, seeking pain meds, that tax payers are shelling out the money to buy, and then turning around and abusing or selling them on the street. Physicians have been powerless to stop this as they have been sued and held liable for not adequately controlling the patient’s pain – as defined by the patient. So you get an addict, and there are more out there than anyone realizes, and they want free pain meds and if they don’t get what they want, they can sue you. It is creating a huge drain on the ER and the staff that work there. This will at least provide some legal protection to physicians, but will likely end up increasing the number of patients that go to the ER every three days.

DocasaurusRx on January 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Those fools in that city elected this dolt, now let them deal with him . . .

That was my first thought, let the fools who voted him back in office feel the pain so to speak.

Just like those who voted for Obama are now feeling the pain when they open their paychecks.

gdonovan on January 11, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Yeah this is just like the Holocaust!

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 6:49 PM

My point is that careful planning is not a valid defense for anything.

NotCoach on January 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

It crap like this that makes me glad Ma died when she did. A 69 year old widow who had 4 strokes, was likely going to be on a DP shortlist anyway. At least she went on GOD’s schedule-rather than the GOVERNMENT’S schedule

annoyinglittletwerp on January 11, 2013 at 7:26 PM

There are lots of good reasons to be cautious about handing out too many pain pills. Bu when politicians get involved, then the people who really need pain medicine are the ones who can’t get it.

For example, a lot of doctors are afraid to give out pain medicine. They know that all it takes is one mistake, and they won’t be able to prescribe medicine for their patients who really need it. This of course creates one more stressor for people with chronic pain. If one doctor inadvertently prescribes a pain medication that another one has already prescribed, you’d better coordinate with both doctors so you don’t get accused of “doctor shopping.”

tom on January 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM

I can somewhat see the point of this. A lot of people use the ER as either a clinic or bed-seeking or looking for a meal/drugs. It is a reality. However, imho, this is the problem:

They said that in this era of patient-satisfaction surveys, doctors were often afraid to make patients unhappy by refusing drugs when they are requested, and the rules would give those doctors some support when they suspected that a patient might be faking pain to get drugs.

Why are there “patient satisfaction” surveys? This is beyond stupid. All that should matter is that there is a verifiable and rational reason for any action. Basing patient care on whether they are “satisfied” rather than whether it is necessary is idiotic.

More emotion based idiocy and now truly sick people who are in pain are going to pay for it.

kim roy on January 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM

The “patient satisfaction survey” argument is bogus. Doctors are a whole lot more worried about an over-aggressive DEA pulling their license to prescribe than being rated low on a survey because the patient wanted more pain medicine.

tom on January 11, 2013 at 8:04 PM

No more that three days worth will be dispensed.

A lost, stolen, or destroyed prescription will not be refilled.

Presumably, after three days, if the medication is needed, a proper prescription would be refilled.

Then you’re arguing that the policy is meaningless. Addicts will simply get the proper prescription on day three, no? The bottom line is that doctors are better positioned to make these calls ad hoc than with a bright-line rule.

Allahpundit on January 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

There’s a reason they are called prescription drugs. The drugs have valid uses, but can be misused. So let those best-equipped to know when the drug is justified prescribe it as needed, and keep it out of the hands of mayors and petty bureaucrats.

I’m totally against recreational drug use, and that includes prescription drugs. But politicians who involve themselves in issues like this should be slapped down hard. And not given any pain medicine afterwards.

What does a mayor have to do with these kinds of decisions anyway? Does he have a license to prescribe medicine?

A politician who “cracks down” on prescription drugs is just trying to make himself look good at the expense of those who are actually suffering.

tom on January 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

What does a mayor have to do with these kinds of decisions anyway? Does he have a license to prescribe medicine?

A politician who “cracks down” on prescription drugs is just trying to make himself look good at the expense of those who are actually suffering.

tom on January 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

The policy was announced by the Mayor. The policy is based on the recommendations of a task force of professionals linked to earlier (health care, mental care, law enforcement, and hospital managers) which was appointed in response to the dramatic rise in opioid prescriptions and the corresponding rise in addictions, deaths, and costs associated with that class of pain killer. In order to get a hold of that class of pain killer, which is commonly abused, dealers and addicts make use of ERs because they can get the drugs for free and/or circumvent going to a regular physician who is more likely to see a pattern which would indicate addiction or abuse.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM

What does a mayor have to do with these kinds of decisions anyway? Does he have a license to prescribe medicine?

A politician who “cracks down” on prescription drugs is just trying to make himself look good at the expense of those who are actually suffering.

tom on January 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

The policy was announced by the Mayor. The policy is based on the recommendations of a task force of professionals linked to earlier (health care, mental care, law enforcement, and hospital managers) which was appointed in response to the dramatic rise in opioid prescriptions and the corresponding rise in addictions, deaths, and costs associated with that class of pain killer. In order to get a hold of that class of pain killer, which is commonly abused, dealers and addicts make use of ERs because they can get the drugs for free and/or circumvent going to a regular physician who is more likely to see a pattern which would indicate addiction or abuse.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM

And there’s what’s wrong with it. There are lots of things that are good policy for a hospital, clinic, or ER, but still should not be law.

Doctors already have to be paranoid about someone looking over their shoulder every time they write a prescription. People who have chronic pain are already effectively being punished because of those who abuse medication. This just makes a bad situation even worse.

tom on January 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

And there’s what’s wrong with it. There are lots of things that are good policy for a hospital, clinic, or ER, but still should not be law.

Doctors already have to be paranoid about someone looking over their shoulder every time they write a prescription. People who have chronic pain are already effectively being punished because of those who abuse medication. This just makes a bad situation even worse.

tom on January 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

WHAT LAW? These are guidelines for city hospitals which area private hospitals decided to adopt voluntarily.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

This just makes a bad situation even worse.

tom on January 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

How so, may I ask? What would be your suggested solution to the problem, or do you not believe that there is a problem?

In order to get a hold of that class of pain killer, which is commonly abused, dealers and addicts make use of ERs because they can get the drugs for free and/or circumvent going to a regular physician who is more likely to see a pattern which would indicate addiction or abuse.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Exactly. In fact, let’s imagine a typical day at a large, inner city ER. The place is jammed full with patients who have been shot, stabbed, had heart attacks and attacks of kidney stone, been in auto accidents, fallen, broken bones, had a burst appendix, have overdosed on dangerous drugs or alcohol, etc.

Along with these legitimate patients there are families with sniveling children; folks with hangnails (not kidding); stomach “aches”; “chronic” back pain; insomnia due to a “cough”; bee stings; hives; shingles; ulcers; hiccups; and every other ridiculous ache and pain that folks for some reason think the ER is the cure for.

A number of these folks are drug seekers.

You are an overwhelmed doctor. Your goal is to process the illegitimate patients as quickly as possible in order to treat the legitimate patients as quickly as possible.

Wouldn’t you be tempted just to give these people a quick once over, write a scrip for a couple of weeks of pain meds, and get them out of your face for as long as possible, so that you can effectively treat real patients?

It’s a flawed action caused by a flawed system made from the best possible motives.

The “Bloomberg” policy changes the rules of the system so you no longer can take this short term easy out that in the long term only exacerbates the problem.

With the “Bloomberg” policy, in the short term, the problem gets worse – more time spent with illegitimate patients, and more visits by the same.

But in the long term, as these folks are entered into a database and identified as problematic, they are eliminated from the loop, as it were. Refused drugs, they either stop, get help for their addiction, find another source that does not tax the ER, or get arrested.

I fail to see what the problem is here, and I fail to see how legitimate patients will not get the pain medication they need with this policy in place.

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 9:22 PM

I fail to see what the problem is here, and I fail to see how legitimate patients will not get the pain medication they need with this policy in place.

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 9:22 PM

What’s wrong is that Bloomberg announced the new guidelines. How else do you have a thoughtful conservative like Allah asserting a ‘right to painkillers’ as needed from ER physicians and likening that right to the 2nd Amendment?

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 9:51 PM

I fail to see what the problem is here, and I fail to see how legitimate patients will not get the pain medication they need with this policy in place.

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 9:22 PM

What’s wrong is that Bloomberg announced the new guidelines. How else do you have a thoughtful conservative like Allah asserting a ‘right to painkillers’ as needed from ER physicians and likening that right to the 2nd Amendment?

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Apparently, Mr. Bloomberg has been telling everyone how to eat for long enough that he wants to branch out into telling people when they don’t really need pain medicine.

“Mr. Bloomberg, I get a queasy feeling in my stomach when I hear you speak. What should I take for it?”

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 12, 2013 at 1:30 AM

I fail to see what the problem is here, and I fail to see how legitimate patients will not get the pain medication they need with this policy in place.

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 9:22 PM

What’s wrong is that Bloomberg announced the new guidelines. How else do you have a thoughtful conservative like Allah asserting a ‘right to painkillers’ as needed from ER physicians and likening that right to the 2nd Amendment?

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 9:51 PM

My take on AP’s comments is that he thinks prescribing medicine should be left to the judgement of the doctors, rather than having policies dictated by a mayor.

Sounds a lot more conservative than a mayor getting involved in setting drug policies.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 12, 2013 at 1:33 AM

To be clear… I am not denying you anything.

lexhamfox on January 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

yes you are. in your unfortunate haste to legislate or set policy for hospitals and doctors you are in effect minimizing the help available to people. take for example my husband , who recently at work dropped a rather large box on his foot while unloading a delivery truck , taken to the er he was told he broke 3 bones in the top of his foot and was given 7 days worth of pain meds , told to follow up with his primary care dr and sent home. it was 10 days before we could get him into his PC Dr. thanks to the influx of medicaid patients under the new laxer laws of obamacare.. there fore your 3 days worth of drugs is effectively hurting more people than you think and denying care to them. thanks to the new healthcare mandates and the rapid influx of new medicaid patients it takes much longer to get in to see already overwhelmed PC Dr.s so yeah the three day law was not thought out very well

katee bayer on January 12, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Mr. Arkadin on January 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I have chronic back pain due to an injury when I was a teenager. You have no idea what that pain is like. When it’s at its worse I can’t stand, can’t sit, can’t lie down. I can see why chronic pain sufferers thoughts drift to suicide.

I hope you never have to feel the pain I’ve endured, and I would never deny the medication from someone who needs it to sustain their sanity.

itsspideyman on January 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM

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