New Opioid Guidelines by the Medical Board of California radically alter the prior restrictive and punitive standards. Dozens of licenses have been restricted, revoked or threatened. Now the Medical Board of California admits that its opioid guidelines were overly restrictive and harmful to patients.
We warned doctors about this political movement to punish MD’s who properly and necessarily prescribe opiates for their patients. (Watch Horowitz’ You Tube Video) Now after years of persecuting doctors the Medical Board of California has admitted it was wrong.
I recall watching CNN and seeing some doctor who learned about the new CDC Opioid guidelines claim that she didn’t know that opioids were so addictive and was tricked by big pharma into prescribing. If she is that dumb she should not be practicing medicine. Parroting the opioid guidelines was a path toward promotion but it undercut the independence of the medical profession. AI can following rigid guidelines real doctors make real, evidence based assessments.
The inquisition destroyed the lives of patients who transformed into pain ridden shadows of their former selves as doctor after doctor refused to treat them claiming “drug seeking behaviors” when in fact they were simply trying to stop the pain. The Horowitz Medical Group division of Lawyers in Lafayette has fought against these politically motivated regulations for many years.
The Medical Board Admits the Old Guidelines Were Wrong
FINALLY THE MEDICAL BOARD HAS ADMITTED IT WAS WRONG! In its July Pain Guidelines the Board admits what our physician attorneys have argued for years:
While the number of overall opioid prescriptions in the United States had been declining and the
release of the 2016 CDC Guideline furthered these declines, the guidelines might have also
inadvertently contributed to patient harm due to the undertreatment of pain. Based in part on the
CDC recommendations, nearly all states designed and implemented new laws, regulations, and
policies due to increasing rates of opioid overdoses. In addition, many states’ Medicaid programs,
insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmacies used the CDC guidelines to create opioid
prescribing limits. CDC acknowledged that misinterpretation of their guidelines most likely led to
the unintended consequence of untreated and undertreated pain, serious withdrawal symptoms,
worsening pain outcomes, psychological distress, overdose through use of illegal drugs, and
suicidal ideation and behavior.
Doctors Should Clear Their Records
We are urging all pain medication doctors who have been disciplined to seek a review of their records. Their Medical Board files should be cleared. NPDB reporting should be reversed. Insurance rates should be reduced and prior increases refunded.
B&P 2052 Violated by Political Medicine
This is yet another time that political forces have taken over and damaged the evidence based practice of medicine. For those who were silent and for those who participated in this persecution, shame on you!
One of our core arguments when we defended physicians against opioid investigations was that the Medical Board was violating Business & Professions Code section 2052 (practicing medicine without a license). The recent Board guidelines replace a policy derived prescription policy with a clinical judgment standard.
The Board recognizes the need to ensure patient access to safe and effective pain management
treatment and, at the same time, also recognizes the need to support physicians providing treatment
to this patient population. Consequently, the guidelines were updated to provide a framework for
clinician use while also encouraging the development of treatment plans customized for their
patients. The guidelines do not replace a physician’s clinical judgment and individualized,
The Board deserves credit for its honest assessment of the prior harms caused but we must remain vigilant to preserve physician independence from political forces. Today the political winds may favor your views but next year they may not. Science is increasingly under attack as funding, research results and publication bias are increasingly politicized. The battle for medical science and physician independence is just beginning.
Our Physician Lawyers Can Help
If you have an issue with a medical licensing board our science based approach and physician centered focus may be exactly what you need to protect your independence. Please give us a call at (925) 291-5388.
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