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Hundreds of Docs Have Dubious Prescribing Patterns in Part D

Many general-care docs giving high number of Rx; order high percentage of Schedule II, III drugs

THURSDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Many hundreds of general-care physicians who order drugs paid for by Medicare Part D have questionable prescribing patterns, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Daniel R. Levinson, the head of the Office of Inspector General for the HHS, and colleagues analyzed Prescription Drug Event records, which are submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by private insurance companies (sponsors) for each drug dispensed to beneficiaries. Records for all drugs billed in 2009 were analyzed.

According to the report, in 2009, more than one million individual prescribers ordered drugs paid for by part D, with wide variation by specialty. Questionable prescribing patterns were observed for 736 general-care physicians, including many physicians who prescribed extremely high numbers of prescriptions per beneficiary. More than half of the 736 general-care physicians ordered extremely high percentages of Schedule II or III drugs, which have potential for abuse and addiction.

"We found hundreds of general-care physicians nationwide with questionable prescribing patterns. While there may be legitimate reasons for some of this prescribing, all of these physicians warrant further scrutiny," the authors write. "These findings show the need for increased oversight of Part D."

More Information (http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-09-00603.pdf )