New Database Hopes to End Prescription Abuse and Insurance Fraud

A newly authorized patient tracking database will stop the epidemic of prescription abuse and the practice of Doctor Shopping for prescription drugs…  The New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud says oxycodone prescriptions rose by 82 percent from 2007 to 2010 inNew YorkStateAlone..

Jack Houston is Chairman of the Alliance – He Says “Prescription abuse brings new Yorkers into vicious cycles they can’t get out of,”  The Alliance is most concerned with Illegal prescriptions being obtained through insurance fraud schemes involving health insurance, auto coverage and workers compensation.

Under the new law, doctors and pharmacists must check a real-time registry maintained by the state Health Department before they dispense powerful medicine. They also must promptly report the addictive prescriptions they prescribe and dispense. “The governor and legislature should be commended for addressing one of our most severe medical problems in the state,”Houstonsaid.

While consumers pay for prescription fraud in the way of higher insurance premiums, prescription addicts often pay with their lives.

“While the government is acting fast to address the problem, consumers can help curb prescription addiction from developing under their own roof,” says the NYAAIF’sHouston.

Here are six tips to prevent prescription addiction:

  1. Don’t share medicine with friends or family, and don’t sell leftover medication.
  2. After surgery, monitor prescription ingestion closely to be sure that only what is absolutely needed is used, and not more.
  3. Dispose of all unused medication.
  4. Watch for signs of addiction or experimentation in your friends and children: inability to concentrate, changes in personality, apathy, social withdrawal, lack of energy, nausea, vomiting, slowed breathing, lack of interest in treatment options other than medications.
  5. Don’t underestimate the grave power of unsupervised narcotics, helpful medications for one person may be fatal for another.
  6. If someone you know is addicted, talk to them about rehabilitation. Report prescription abuse by calling 1-877-RxAbuse.

“Prescription addiction begins in our own medicine cabinets,” saysHouston. “Learn the signs of addiction and the steps for prevention…Prescription fraud steals from your wallets, and takes away lives…You’ve got to know it to stop it.”

The New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud is a non-profit organization that seeks to increase public awareness about insurance fraud and its consequences. Membership includes more than 100 insurance companies writing policies in New York State.

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