Conrad Murray Might not be in Jail if He Only Treated Workers’ Compensation Patients

Medicare Set-Aside Blog on December 6, 2011
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I was just reading that a Pennsylvania court recently upheld a workers’ compensation appeals board decision that an injured workers’ opiod overdose was a compensible death claim. I get that maybe but for the work related back injury, claimant would not have been receiving the pain mediation that ultimately killed him, and that perhaps drug addiction is a disease and again but for the work comp incident he wouldn’t have been put in that position of unintentionally kill himself, but at what point are the treating physicians going to be held responsible for their actions? One doctor was prescribing fentanyl, oxycodone, Fentora (and not dying of cancer), Lyrica (doubtfully suffering from fibromyalgia or shingles), docusate (a given with all those narcotics) and Sonata (not sure how it is even possible that he was having trouble falling asleep, staying awake maybe), and then apparently that doctor’s sister was prescribing some identical prescriptions. I can see where a claimant goes to a different state or across town to get multiple prescriptions and the respective docs don’t have a clue, but treating with brother and sister, both of whom were prescribing drugs that were found in a utilization review to be neither reasonable nor necessary???  With the thousands of medical records that MEDVAL sees day in and day out, this is sadly a very common trend and and even sadder commentary on medical treatment in the United States, which by the way consumes like 80% of the world supply of all opiods produced. Rather than hold the physician’s accountable, it seems unreasonable to force insurance companies to carry the burden, especially in states where they are provided with no control over who the claimants treat with. Yet this is another part of the problem that CMS refuses to see in WCMSA proposals. It is neither reasonable nor necessary to fund these drugs for a lifetime, as had we submitted this prior to claimant’s death I am certain CMS would have required funding of all of them despite the utilization review, because as you can see here, that level of use will eventually kill a person. Perhaps we should be arguing for a higher diminished life expectancy???

Court opinion can be read in its entirety here.