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Are Claims-Based Alerts A Waste Of Time?

I got a letter from an insurer the other day, warning me that my patient, who had just refilled a prescription for a bisphosphonate I had prescribed almost a year ago for severe osteoporosis (yes, I do still prescribe dugs, despite how I feel about Big Pharma marketing), also had a claims diagnosis in their system for a bleeding peptic ulcer, and was I really sure she should be taking this medication, which could worsen her ulcer?

So do what any conscientious physician would do – I call her. (Of course, no one is ever home when I call these days, so it’s another few days of phone tag before I get her.) No, she has not been diagnosed with anything of the kind. Feels great, in fact.

I press the point – did she see her primary for an upset stomach? Have a recent endoscopy? Pain? GI Bleeding? Is she taking any new meds, maybe something for her stomach like an H2 blocker (I name them all).

Nope. Nothing’s new.

Okay, I tell her. Take your meds and I’ll see you in the spring for your check up.

Waste of my time….

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog that Ate Manhattan*

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