OIG Seal
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General
Michael J. Missal, Inspector General

Report Summary

Title: Healthcare Inspection – Management of Chronic Opioid Therapy at a VA Maine Healthcare System Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Calais, ME
Report Number: 12-01872-258 Download
Issue Date: 8/21/2012
City/State: Calais, ME
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Healthcare Inspections
Report Type: Healthcare Inspections
Release Type: Unrestricted

OIG conducted a review to determine the validity of allegations regarding management of chronic opioid therapy and opioid prescribing practices at a VA Maine Healthcare System Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Calais, Maine. We substantiated the allegations that providers did not adequately assess patients who were prescribed opioid for chronic pain and did not adequately monitor patients for misuse or diversion of the opioid medications. We substantiated that managers asked providers to prescribe opioids for patients whom they had not assessed. We found that a chronic shortage in provider staffing at the clinic impacted the management of chronic opioid therapy. We made one recommendation to address these issues. Management agreed with the findings and recommendations and provided an acceptable improvement plan.