Emergency room doctors are facing the latest dilemma in relation to the prescription pain killer addiction craze. Over the last decade, pain clinics were largely the prime target for individuals looking to score painkillers to satisfy their addiction. Doctor shopping is the common term for a patient that visits multiple doctors and fills multiple prescriptions for one or more kinds of pain killers. As a matter of fact, as prescription painkiller addiction has risen country wide, and the prices for them continue to rise, the doctor shoppers have moved to medical facilities that will help them no matter the case, and that would be the emergency room in hospitals.
The most common ailment that doctors are hearing is one that does not require huge gaping wounds, broken bones, strains or sprains or even bruising. Patients are coming in more and more complaining of tooth aches. Emergency room doctors face serious traumatic injuries every day, so when patients began coming to see them with increasing numbers of tooth pain, many quickly realized what was going on.
Tooth pain can be extremely severe depending on the problem. What has emergency room doctors stumped is that many tooth problems do not have to look severe on the outside for them to cause serious pain. It is understandable how the frustration is steadily growing for these doctors. Patients come in, complaining of serious pain and claiming they only need the pills until they can make it to the dentist- and afford it. Emergency room doctors in this position are torn between suspicion that the patient could be faking it, and the fact that they have made an oath to help those in need.
Emergency rooms are also being clogged with mock patients due to insurance related problems as well. Medicaid, the largest government funded insurance recently cut back and eliminated dental plans for many people. This has caused individuals to stop seeing their dentists and regular physicians and instead visit the emergency room for their needs.
What ends up happening in this precarious situation is that the emergency room doctor is put in a position in which he or she has to make the call whether the patient is faking it or not. This is resulting in some real patients leaving without much to help them, and others who really feel no pain gaining drugs to abuse. The problem is glaringly obvious though, and the doctors are not the ones to blame. It has become increasingly hard to tell if a patient truly needs the medication when tooth pain is in question, or if they will leave that emergency room and head over to another hospital in the next town to get even more of the drugs.
If things go on in the same manner, it will deplete the allocated healthcare funds and waste the valuable time of the doctors. It is really important for the concerning official authorities to take certain steps in order to prevent this practice of doctor shopping. In this way, the healthcare funds can be rightfully utilized for the deserving patients.