Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Brian Roark commented on Medicare's increased spending on opioids for an article in Bloomberg BNA. According to a government report cited in the article, "Medicare Part D spent $4 billion on commonly abused opioids in 2015, a 165 percent jump from 2006 spending levels and a potential indication of fraud and abuse." This spike in opioid usage may prompt the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to closely monitor potential abuse. As Brian warns in the article, "'[i]n light of the heightened enforcement, it's imperative that physicians document and be able to demonstrate circumstances supporting the appropriateness of their opioid prescriptions.'"
The full article, "Government Cites Leap in Medicare Spending on Opioids," was published by Bloomberg BNA on June 24, 2016, and is available online.