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Latest Opioid Addict Victims: Pets

Latest Opioid Addict Victims: Pets

We’ve all heard of opioid addicts who make up aches and pains, fake injuries, or hurt themselves in hopes of being prescribed Vicodin, Percocet, etc. As the opioid crisis’ grows, so do its boundaries, with family pets becoming its next victims. For example, opioid addicted owners will sometimes hurt their pets to get a veterinary prescription for Tramadol.
According to ABC 2 KUTV, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a list of recommendations to help stop opioid-related pet abuse of owners:

  • Using alternatives to opioids for pet pain management
  • Educating pet owners about possible misuse
  • Urging veterinarians to have a safety plan in place in case they encounter someone they believe has hurt an animal trying to get a hold of drugs
  • Creating laws to address the problem, including a requirement for vets to report every time they send an opioid or other controlled substance home with a pet owner

Photos by Pexels.

Know What Healthcare Is Up Against

This year at AAPC’s HEALTHCON in Las Vegas, April 28-May 1, 2019, The opioid epidemic will be a hot topic. Expert speaker Heather Greene, MBA, RHIA, CPC, CIC, CPMA, CDIP, will be presenting on “Mental Health and the Opioid Crisis: What Do We Code?” and R. Douglas Reed, PharmD; Patrick Harper, MD; and Stacy Nicole Harper, JD, MHSA, CPC, will be speaking on “Breaking Down the Opioid Crisis.” They are presentations you won’t want to miss.

Use Accurate Coding to Help Raise Red Flags

To learn how accurate coding and better documentation can help raise red flags when patient abuse is present, read the articles, “Help Combat the Opioid Crisis by Following Guidelines and State Rules” and “Documenting Opioid Dependence and Abuse” in the February and March 2018 issues of Healthcare Business Monthly magazine.
When coding opioid use disorder, you’ll need to know the sequencing rules to select an appropriate ICD-10-CM code. To find out more, read the article, “Coding Opioid Use Disorder.”

The DOJ Fights Opioid Fraud

There has been a surge of Department of Justice (DOJ) takedowns of doctors who committed prescription fraud and abuse of opioid drugs. To read about the risks and consequences of this criminal activity in the healthcare industry, read the articles “DOJ Takes Down Father and Son Opioid Kickback Scheme” and “OIG’s Battle with Opioid Abuse Continues” on AAPC’s Knowledge Center.


Photos by Pexels.

Michelle Dick
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About Has 252 Posts

Michelle A. Dick, BS, is a freelance content specialist, providing writing, editorial expertise, and graphic imagery to clients. Prior to becoming a free agent, she was an executive editor for AAPC, editor-in-chief at Eli Research, and editor at Element K Journals. After earning a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo State, Dick entered the publishing industry as a graphic artist, ad coordinator, and web designer for White Directory Publishers, Inc.

No Responses to “Latest Opioid Addict Victims: Pets”

  1. Simone Tessitore says:

    My roommate’s 3-legged Great Dane / Lab mix takes both an anti inflammatory and Tramadol. Apparently her purchasing these shows up under her name and her pain management doctor accused her of taking her dog’s meds for herself. NEVER in a million years would she do such a thing, but the pain mngt guy was suspicious. In the end he believed my roommate, mostly after seeing pictures of the dog and her heartfelt love for him.. but it touch and go for a minute.