Tennessee health officials haven’t been questioning many of the state’s highest opioid prescribers. Of the most prolific, half have never triggered an inquiry, and most have never been disciplined.
The state comptroller was asked by lawmakers to look into how the state Department of Health polices opioid prescribing. They found 62 prescribers that were far outside the standard practice of medicine, and only half were on the state’s radar.
Research analyst Kristina Podesta says their patterns might be explainable.
“The data that we’re looking at in black and white, unfortunately, isn’t that simple when you’re dealing with patients,” she says. “So I think there’s a lot more that goes into it than just the data.”