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Report: Patient Surveys Could Be Fueling Opioid Epidemic

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Could a physician with a low rating on surveys be doing a better job than those with high ratings? More and more this may be the case.

Many hospitals, insurance companies and other groups rate physicians. However, in today's world, social media can do a good job, as well. But there may be a problem with the rating system, certainly something that can't be controlled in social media, but could be controlled through organized surveys.

Sometimes physicians are getting low ratings because they are not prescribing narcotics. Doctors doing a good job limiting the spread of narcotics can get bad reviews.

An article in the American Family Physician says it is time to reward these doctors with bad ratings and those who employ physicians as well as insurance companies who determine payments based on surveys. Essentially, they should remove any link between surveys and payments.

Sadly, a growing number of patients have been threatening poor surveys unless opioids and other narcotics are prescribed. In addition, drug seekers are using positive surveys as a way to choose physicians who might be more likely to prescribe pain medications.

Physicians should not be treated like a business or valued as if they're selling product. They need to protect patients by not worrying about surveys.



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