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Failure to Manage Pain and Behavioral Health Issues Results in Patient Suicide

October 3, 2022

According to the CDC, chronic pain is a risk factor for suicidality.1,2,3 Studies indicate several additional factors as potential predicators of increased suicide risk in chronic pain patients, including depression, anger, unemployment/disability, harmful health habits, challenging personal and family history, sleep problems, poor perceived mental health, and multiple chronic pain conditions. Newly identified psychosocial factors, including pain catastrophizing, hopelessness, and perceived burdensomeness also appear to be associated with suicidality.2 On a positive note, many suicide risk factors can be addressed through an individualized chronic pain management program.2

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Filed under: Pain Management, Case Study, Physician, Opioids, Patient Care, Medication Management, Claims Rx

Sudden Tapering of Pain Medications Results in Suicidal Ideation

October 3, 2022

In 2016, the CDC released a clinical practice guideline for primary care physicians prescribing opioids for chronic pain,1 which was adopted by various entities, including Medicaid agencies and insurers.2 However, according to the CDC and others, the guideline has been misinterpreted and misapplied.

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Filed under: Pain Management, Case Study, Physician, Opioids, Patient Care, Medication Management, Claims Rx

Failure to Properly Manage Pain Medication Leads to Patient Death

October 3, 2022

Case One: Prescribing Opioids to a Patient with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

Any patient can develop OUD and patients with OUD are at higher risk for overdose.1 Personal history, length of therapy, and dosage play a role in the development of OUD.2 Experts surmised that the patient in the following case had developed OUD at some point during the course of treatment with his family practice physician (FP). The FP maintained that his prescribing was appropriate and the patient would not have died if he had taken his medications appropriately. However, the experts believed the FP’s duty to appropriately treat the patient extended beyond simply writing out prescriptions.

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Filed under: Pain Management, Case Study, Physician, Opioids, Patient Care, Medication Management, Claims Rx

Communication Failures a Major Issue in Medical Liability Claims [INFOGRAPHIC]

August 27, 2021

Communications issues — communication problems between healthcare providers and failure to follow-up on tests/consults — were among the most expensive (highest indemnity) and most frequent (number of claims) associated issues in medical liability claims.*

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Filed under: Infographic, Patient Care

3 Strategies to Ensure Timely Test Results Communication

August 27, 2021

Communication failure can cause patient injury due to treatment delay, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, or lack of follow-up, and is a frequent allegation in malpractice lawsuits. Especially in primary care practices, expedited follow-up on critical or significantly abnormal test results is a major aspect of liability risk management and patient safety. In this special report, NORCAL Risk Management experts offer strategies for reducing communication failures to increase patient safety and reduce professional liability.

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Filed under: Special Report, Patient Care
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