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In 2009, massage therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors and other professionals wrote hundreds of thousands of drug prescriptions without the authority to do so.
In some cases these were controlled substances like oxycodone, but Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs, paid for them anyway.
The inappropriate payments could signal that prescriber-ID numbers had been stolen, both Carper and the IG report hinted.
https://secure.assets.tumblr.com/post.jsAnd the problem isn’t just about taxpayer money, but the widespread problem of prescription-drug abuse.
Most of the prescriptions were for commonly used drugs, the report states, but in total, 29,212 prescriptions for controlled substances were ordered by 4,863 individuals who shouldn’t have been prescribing them. Medicare paid over $1.5 million for those drugs. Of those prescriptions, 7,679 were Schedule II drugs-like oxycodone and morphine-defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration as drugs with “high potential for abuse with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.”
In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control declared prescription-painkiller overdoses an epidemic.