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VA Office of Inspector General reports local VA facility may have prolonged opioid dependence

Photo Supplied - Office of Inspector General

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports VA Northern Indiana Health Care System leaders may have prolonged patients’ dependence on opioids.

The OIG received confidential allegations that system leaders interfered with primary care providers’ opioid prescribing practices; that requirements specified in Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Pain Management directive were not followed; and that system leaders failed to meet all the goals of VHA’s Opioid Safety Initiative Update.

Following a healthcare inspection, the OIG determined that patients did not have identifiable adverse clinical outcomes, however, the continuation of opioid use may have prolonged their dependence.

Primary care providers also report they felt pressure by the Chief of Staff regarding opioid prescribing practices. Some providers failed to use the required opioid risk assessment tools for patients on long-term opioid therapy.

The system also only met six out of nine goals outlined in VHA’s Opioid Safety Initiative Update.

You can read the full assessment here.

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