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My opinion comment on National Pain Report’s article regarding forced tapering by OHP (3-13-19)

The state is just doing what the Umpqua Health Alliance already proved could be done back in the summer of 2013. They act as the CCO for the Oregon Health Plan in Douglas County. They forcefully took all OHP patients off opioids back then without giving them any other alternatives. They later realized they needed to provide them something else, so they added a few visits for chiropractic, acupuncture, and such. Despite what many of these state and federally funded Community Health Center clinics say, that they don’t treat chronic pain, they actually do. But different “rules” apply. If you have severe pain from chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease or arthritis, you CAN get medications IF you have GOOD commercial insurance. IF you have OHP, then you get NO opioids. Not treatment based on your medical conditions, your insurance is what’s being treated all to the benefit of their bottom-line. Despite three years of the CDC Guidelines being in effect, you wouldn’t know that these clinics really cared, as their pain agreements haven’t changed, don’t always get done with all patients, and drug testing is only used a way to throw patients out of the clinics. I have seen some of these local doctors failing to drug test their “pet” patients for years, while others get drug tested at almost every visit. Some of the providers rely solely on the point-of-care office tests that are known to make mistakes, but they sometimes refuse to run the recommended confirmation laboratory tests that the manufacturers and major pain organizations advise. If they don’t want YOU to get your pain medications, they will find a way to DENY you pain medications. I have heard patients say that some of these providers just look at them and say “You don’t look like a drug addict” when making comments about their medications. Talk about biased discriminatory treatments. All done on taxpayer money too.

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