BALTIMORE, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritox (SM), the nation's leader in Pain Medication Monitoring Solutions®, earlier this month submitted a Statement for the Record for the Congressional hearing on "Costs of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Medicare Part D Program," pointing to medication monitoring as a potential solution to improving adherence to pain medication, preventing drug diversion and aiding in lowering national healthcare costs. The hearing was held by the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security.
"As the nation's leader in Pain Medication Monitoring Solutions, Ameritox is committed to helping state and Federal policymakers understand the reasons behind rising prescription drug abuse, and identifying proven and cost-effective solutions," said Dr. Harry Leider, chief medical officer, Ameritox. "Medication monitoring is a critical tool in helping physicians provide the best possible care for patients. This simple, scientific tool can help assure doctors that the proper medications are getting to the millions of chronic pain patients who need it, and not contributing to misuse, abuse and diversion of prescription opioid therapy, costing payers millions of dollars each year."
Multiple studies have shown that medication monitoring, along with improving patient care, has the added benefit of reducing healthcare costs. One study published in The American Journal of Managed Care in January found that patients on chronic opioid therapy who were likely non-adherent, as determined by urine drug testing results, had 14 percent higher health care costs and 35 percent more hospital days. The same study found that patients who may be adherent to their opioid regimen had annual costs that were approximately 12 percent lower than non-adherent patients.
Dr. David Nash, dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, said such studies demonstrate that drug monitoring that uses advanced laboratory technologies is becoming a standard of care because it is a key component to quality care for patients on long-term opioid therapy.
"Addressing chronic pain and improving adherence to opioid therapy presents us with a major opportunity to raise the quality of care and reduce healthcare costs at the same time," Nash said.
Ameritox is the nation's leader in Pain Medication Monitoring Solutions®, offering specialized laboratory testing and reporting services. Ameritox's expertise and innovative science provide physicians with insights and support to enhance and optimize the care of chronic pain patients. Ameritox offers the most thorough pain medication monitoring lab process – Rx Guardian (SM) – with Rx Guardian CD (SM), the only pain medication screening with a proprietary normalization algorithm and a reference database of pain patients assessed for medication adherence. Patient results are compared against this database, helping physicians assess whether patients are taking their pain medications correctly. Monitoring through urine drug testing helps physicians make more informed clinical decisions and manage the risks and complexities associated with prescribing pain medications. Ameritox is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. with laboratory facilities in Midland, Texas and Greensboro, N.C. Ameritox can be found online at www.ameritox.com, on Twitter@Ameritox, or on Facebook at facebook.com/ameritox.
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