Can you believe that patient?

Back in the dark ages of medicine we could get the history from the patient. Not any more. Now we must assume all patients lie about their past, if not their present, and confirm with other (presumably 100% accurate) sources of information.

I screen prospective patients for prescriptions of benzodiazepines and other controlled substances by other prescribers by accessing the state prescription database before the initial consultation and at intervals thereafter.

To prevent identity theft we should obtain photo identification, maybe even require the patient to bring in a utility bill.

Patients with Medicare Part B might believe, with good reason, that a physician will not accept them as a patient if they admit having that coverage. Sorry doc. Apparently there's no sure way to confirm the patient does not have Medicare. But not to worry. When they send you to federal prison for failing to bill Medicare for caring for that patient who lied to you at least you will get free care.

We must obtain records from previous treatment providers to find out the real reason the patient needs/wants a new psychiatrist.

To verify a clean criminal record we can access another state database.

Perhaps we should check for Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts and search the Web. Who knows what we might might discover the patient has hidden from us?

Do you take at face value what your patients tell you?

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