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Millennium Laboratories, Inc. Urges Medicare to Reconsider the 2010 Physician Reimbursement for Point-of-Care Urine Drug Screen Devices
Date:7/27/2010

um Laboratories felt a responsibility to advocate on behalf of pain physicians, their patients and the public to preserve and safeguard reasonable reimbursement rates for clinicians performing drug screening to properly care for their patients and to meet increasingly stricter DEA enforcement.

Slattery asked the CMS on July 22nd to reconsider the reimbursements cuts, and he reaffirmed the company's position in previous Medicare meetings. Key points of his presentation included:

  • A reminder that President Obama's 2010 National Drug Control Strategy (Office of National Drug Control Policy) states, "Screening for substance use should become more broadly implemented in the healthcare system."  
  • A study from Cornell University found that drug seeking patients were identified only 10% of the time, even after physicians were told that actors would be presenting to them as patients.(1)
  • Several states now have or are proposing laws that doctors must do a urine drug test (UDT) before a pain prescription for an opioid is written. The DEA says that they must prevent drug abuse and diversion.  Medicare lowered the reimbursement rates for drug screening in 2009 to below physicians' cost, making it difficult to conduct the necessary drug testing.
  • Physicians have very few tools at their disposal for early detection of illicit drug use and drug diversion in patients. Limiting the physicians' reimbursement to levels three to four times below their cost, may lead to an increase in patient deaths, drug abuse, "doctor shopping" and drug diversion.


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SOURCE Millennium Laboratories
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