Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ER Doctors Face Quandary on Painkillers

Many times Emergency Room doctors are faced with patients who come complaining of a toothache. There are many issues when this occurs. An article was published by the New York Times on Emergency Room doctors and dental patients.  The article discussed issues when patients come to the Emergency Room with a toothache.

Some issues may occur such as:
  • They patient may simply going to the Emergency Room to receive narcotics
  • How does the doctor really know if the patient is in pain or is telling the truth about their dental pain?
  • The ED may lack the tools to properly diagnose the tooth pain.  
    • They do not have a dental x-ray machine which would validate if they tooth pain is in fact an infected nerve and whether or not they should prescribe painkillers
  • Most hospitals have patient satisfaction surveys and if a person is truly in pain this might have a negative impact one their responses.
Some solutions mentioned in the article are as follows:
  • Have a drug-monitoring database which will tell you if the patient has had any painkillers filled recently
    • 40 States have some sort of drug monitoring program
  • One hospital in the article offers "dental blocks" yet many doctors do not want to do this.
To view the full article, please click here: ER Doctors Face Quandary on Painkillers

For additional medical billing and coding resources, please click the following link: Medical Reimbursement, Inc. resources page

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