People Fake Illnesses To Obtain Prescription Narcotics
It is unclear how many people fake illnesses to obtain prescription narcotics, like morphine, how often the medications are prescribed to them or how much fraudulent illnesses cost hospitals and insurers, the Modesto Bee reports.
According to David Araujo, head of the residency program at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, the practice appears to be on the rise, as doctors more frequently prescribe potentially addictive narcotics to treat nonmalignant pain.
To prevent the practice in California, doctors can request patient profiles to monitor the number of prescriptions a patient receives. The state also alerts doctors to patients who are getting a large number of prescriptions, Araujo said.
In addition, doctors can order prescription forms that have water marks to avoid fraud and can limit the number of refills a patient can receive (Turner, Modesto Bee, 4/5).