Risky Business: Avoiding Prosecution in Pain Management

Medical malpractice claims can happen to any doctor, but pain management physicians are uniquely and acutely exposed. They deserve better.

Pain management physicians know that treating chronic pain increases professional liability. Most pain physicians and practice managers spend seemingly countless hours completing continuing education, consulting guidance from medical journals, and ensuring their practice correctly implements and uses an accurate EHR.  Patient compliance is enforced and quality of care and patient pain contracts are in place. The staff is completing drug testing as scheduled. Suddenly, a malpractice lawsuit is served.

Medical malpractice claims can happen to any doctor, but pain management physicians are at risk of increased exposure to litigation and statistics show that its likely at some point, the physician will be sued.

A pain physician’s fear of regulatory investigation by the DEA or State medical board is justified as a pain practice poses its own liabilities. Risk management tactics like contracts and drug testing can better protect pain physicians from charges, but when faced with a lawsuit, the physicians’ best efforts often fall short.

The Paradox of Treating Pain

Every physician should be aware of the medicolegal ramifications when caring for pain patients.

Adequate pain control is a legal standard for end-of-life care and the overprescribing opiates can lead to criminal charges but patients continue to deserve and require pain management. In spite of all efforts to provide safe and effective pain management, substance abuse statistics continue to rise.

Lawsuits involving the prescribing of opiates and other pain medications occur regularly.  Charges of overprescribing leading to death, addiction or permanent injury are commonplace. In addition, cases alleging that the fear of prosecution led a physician to commit malpractice by undertreating a terminal patient for pain have occurred.

Protect your patients and your practice from adverse prescribing events

To reduce medico-legal risk in pain management, it is important that physicians learn the federal and state regulatory laws and ensure that  patient pain contracts are in place and up to date. Document plan of care and effectiveness of titration and maintenance efforts.

The truth doesn’t protect physicians from liability, but the proof of the truth does. Providing accurate and documented evidence of continuing care is vital to stand up to legal challenges. To withstand the rigors of a malpractice suit, proof of the patients’ compliance with maintenance or titration plan of care and due diligence by the medical provider must be evident, accurate, consistent and reliable. This is why I was so ecstatic to find Scriptulate.

Scriptulate allows pain physicians to prescribe controlled substances safer and smarter with advanced analytics, compliance workflows, and rapid reporting for use in real time practice settings.

Scriptulate is like no other practice management software. Scriptulate integrates user-friendly, smart analytic tools with your EMR and State PDMP to enable instant and accurate prescribing, monitoring, and record-keeping information. Added compliance workflows increase revenue and further reduce exposure.

Scriptulate rapidly compiles patient prescribing information and due diligence available, including titration records, toxicity screening results, pain contracts, PDMP, diversion checks, discovery and audits- in seconds.

Scriptulate takes the guesswork out of compliance, enabling prescribers to quickly access complete patient information in seconds. From screening and prescribing, to management and titration, Scriptulate has your practice covered.

Schedule a free demo today and learn how Scriptulate can help take the pain out of pain management.

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