TennCare pain pill prescriptions up 48 percent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- TennCare has seen a 48 percent increase in narcotics prescriptions over the last four years despite efforts to end abuse.

Those efforts include a program called lock-ins, which forces a patient to fill prescriptions at a specific pharmacy.

The state's Medicaid program also caps the number of pills that can be dispensed during each doctor's visit. And it requires patients to use 85 percent of a prescription before they can get a refill.

State Sen. Ken Yager sponsored legislation last year requiring pain clinics to register with the state, have a doctor present at least 20 percent of the time and not accept cash payments. The Harriman Republican told The Tennessean more can be done.

In 2011, TennCare spent $49 million on narcotics, up from $33 million in 2007.


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  • by frank Location: knoxville on Jan 30, 2012 at 06:09 PM
    This is so funny, i know a woman who got caught doctor shopping (which is a felony) and all she got was 1 yr unsupervised probation...do you think this is a problem? My tax $$ pays for tencare and the state has a legitimate problem with pain pills and they finally catch and arrest someone and all they get is probation???? Yes they are going to keep doing it if this is the punishment they get
  • by Brenda Location: Grainger Co on Jan 30, 2012 at 02:19 PM
    The increase of these drugs will keep going up until there is a stop to TNCARE paying for them. TNCare should not inforce the narcotics to be given to anyone expecially when most of these people just use them to sell and make money on.

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