Latest California Healthline Stories
Fentanyl, a significant cause of overdoses and deaths across the country, has begun showing up in California street drugs. State health officials have responded with a bold but controversial policy: paying for test strips so users can check their stash.
Andrey Ostrovsky, who until last month was chief medical officer for Medicaid, quit his job so he could more directly fight the stigma of drug addiction.
“We really do have a lot of responsibility and culpability,” says one hospital official who is part of a working group trying to address the opioid epidemic. Patients have to expect more pain after surgery and understand the risk of addiction, says another doctor.
Fatalities are climbing in states that have been flooded by the deadly opioid fentanyl, but are remaining flat — or even falling — in many Western states, where it has not yet overwhelmed the drug supply.
Laws in California and most other states allow pharmacists to provide naloxone to patients or their friends without a doctor’s prescription. But many don’t do so, citing lack of demand and awareness among patients, their own fears of insufficient compensation and the challenges of treating opioid users.
Behavioral care was at least four times more likely to be out-of-network than medical or surgical care, an analysis by Milliman shows.
Based on research conducted at the University of Michigan’s medical center, a group of surgeons developed a strategy to help post-surgical patients from misusing or abusing their prescription painkillers.
Following minor surgery, KHN’s consumer columnist sees how easily doctors offer pain pills, fueling epidemic of opioid addiction.
Doctors and pharmacists in Northern California are emulating drug company sales reps with a fresh purpose in mind: They visit medical offices in the hardest-hit counties to change their peers’ prescribing habits and curtail the use of painkillers.
States are adding a variety of services, including expansions of mental health and substance abuse treatments and dental care, according to a 50-state survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.