Senator Seeks Investigations of High Prescribers
Iowa Senator Charles Grassley recently asked federal officials to investigate physicians that have unusually high prescription rates for mental health drugs for Medicare and Medicaid patients. The request came after the completion of a review of prescription drug rates for the state and federal health programs.
Grassley quoted figures from a Florida doctor who wrote and average of 153 prescriptions per day for an 18 month period. A doctor in Texas wrote 14,170 prescriptions for Xanax in 2009 alone.
Currently, high prescribers are not investigated by the government for any potential wrongdoing. They are listed and identified for medical review or education. Grassley’s concern is that the consequences for dramatically overprescribing medication are minimal. He suggested that Medicare and Medicaid investigate cases of dramatically high prescribers and treat the circumstances as fraud if abuse is discovered.