The final report by the state Heroin and Opioid Task Force has been handed over to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Task Force was charged with identifying ways to address the growing opioid addiction epidemic. Task Force co-chair Kathy Hochul states that the compensation equation for doctors lends to the addiction problem.
"One challenge that doctors have had, and I need to change this at the federal level, is that doctors' reimbursements are tied to patient satisfaction. So, they're rated on how much pain their patients are in. That is not fair, because that creates an incentive for emergency rooms, hospitals and doctors to be prescribing something that eliminates all pain."
The Lieutenant Governor and others identified 25 recommendations for striking at the epidemic. She emphasized the need for patients to realize that pain is manageable with many over the counter drugs and that living with a some short term discomfort after an injury used to be the norm.
Prescription restrictions, more comprehensive treatments for those addicted and better education regarding opiate were among the other recommendations.