Speaking about the state database of narcotics prescriptions … there was another patient who came in for chronic back pain. He denied being treated for any previous medical problems, but had allergies to anti-inflammatories and to Tramadol, leaving only narcotic medications to treat his back pain. Happened to be from out of town. Several red flags for drug seeking behavior.
When we went to the state database, we found that he had multiple prescriptions for narcotics from multiple different physicians.
I printed out all of his entries and brought them to the room to confront him.
“So, who’s Doctor Painkill?”
“How about Doctor Feelgood?”
“I don’t know.”
“How about Dr. Vicodin?”
“I don’t know. Why are you asking me about all these other doctors?”
“Because prescriptions for narcotics written by these physicians have been filled at several different pharmacies under your name in the past few weeks.”
“It wasn’t me.”
“This print out matches your address and your date of birth. Your name isn’t that common, so I doubt that it would be a mistake with so many different doctors.”
“Someone must have stolen my identity.” He appeared stone-cold serious about it.
That one caught me off guard.
“Tell you what, then, I’ll have the police come down and take a report.”
Then he backpedaled.
“No, that’s OK. I’ll stop at the station on the way home.”
“It’s no problem. Besides, I’ll help you out. I’ll make a statement and give the police a copy of the state print-out.”
“That’s OK. I’ll take care of it myself. I don’t want to wait.”
Rrrrrrriiight. You almost had me there.
Then he called back the ED later on and wanted to know how to get a copy of his records for the police.
Not sure what to believe anymore. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and prescribed a few days of narcotics. If he was seeking, at least he knows someone’s checking on him.
Scary that sometimes we have to go to extremes to discourage drug seeking behavior.
Another reason I’m getting one of those stamps that say not to fill prescriptions without picture identification. Now if I could only find a way to put a patient’s picture on a prescription …
Or how about a national picture ID card that people have to swipe to receive medical services?