Medical Board Abandons 8000 Patients

I received an email two days ago that the state Department of Health urges (begs?) “practitioners to accept and treat patients associated with Seattle Pain Center.”

According to this report in the Seattle Times closure of Seattle Pain Center by the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission and DEA has left 8,000 or more opioid dependent patients without medical care. They would have charged a health care provider with abandonment for doing the same thing.

This reckless action will certainly drive up the price of heroin and other black market drugs of abuse/addiction and arguably cause even more deaths.

If you want me to take on some of these patients, let’s make a deal.

  • Waive my CME requirement.

  • Indemnify me for malpractice.

  • Promise not to enforce MOC (maintenance of certification).

  • Remove Premera Blue Cross VP Little Doctor (Robert Small, MD) from the medical board.

  • Apply the same standards to all docs in future disciplinary actions with no preference for employed physicians over private practitioners.

  • Suspend the pain management rules.

  • Convince DEA to grant me immunity from their onerous regulations.

  • Pay me directly.

  • Eliminate prior authorization.

And maybe I’ll think about it!

This bureaucracy knew or should have known that this clinic was too big to fail! They should have provided for all these patients before pulling the rug out from under them.

Let me get this straight.

  • You want physicians already overburdened with EMR, MOC, and ACA to work even more?

  • You want them to risk negative reviews when they refuse to give the patients what they demand?

  • You want them to expose their practices to increased scrutiny by DEA?`

And you want us to prescribe more opiates, and benzos! LOL!

I don’t mean to condone or attack Dr. Li or his practices, but overdose depends on the amount ingested, not the size of the prescription. Retail clerks sell a lethal dose of alcohol every time someone buys a fifth of vodka.

I submit that MQAC is negligent and out of touch with the realities of current medical practice. Make buprenorphine/naloxone available over the counter to adults like the more dangerous alcohol and more addictive nicotine. Repeal the Harrison Act, and get physicians out of the loop.


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