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Violated My Pain Management Agreement

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First, let me say I never do drugs (except what my doc prescribes) and I very rarely drink alcohol.

Last Friday I had a ortho appt for my knees. After that, I had labs scheduled for liver function, cholesterol levels, etc. Between the two appts I stopped by the restroom because I was about to bust. Then, when I show up at the lab, they tell me I have to give a urine sample for a drug screen. Well, I told them that I had just went, and couldn't give them a sample now. They told me to drink some water and hang out until I could. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but my in-laws were visiting from Austin, TX last week and we had plans for the rest of the day with them. They were sitting at my house waiting on me get back from the VA. So, I told them I didn't have 2-3 hours to sit around because of the plans we had. I asked them if I could re-schedule and they told me to call the appt line and set it up. I tried that on the way home, but 30 minutes later when I arrived at my house I still hadn't got a human on the line so I hung up.

Fast forward to yesterday. I called the appt line again, and set up my labs for this morning. I show up at the check in desk this morning and I am told that no labs are scheduled and that I am flagged for violating my pain management agreement. Well, it's not a complete surprise. So I call to set up an appt with my new PCP to get this straightened out and I am told that it is rare that they reinstate a pain management agreement after it has been violated, but it is up to my PCP. The nurse on the phone also said that I was supposed to get a phone call the day before informing me that they were doing a random drug screen. I never got a call, and would not have used the restroom between the appointments if I had.

This is frustrating as hell, because I am not a freakin junkie or a alcoholic. I just had a busy schedule that one, single day (usually I am totally free to do whatever). Has anyone had any experience in this arena? I am about to blow a major gasket. :D

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Can you scan and post a copy of the Pain Management Agreement?

Also, why did the idiots not tell you they only need about

20 drops of urine?


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Get a decision in writing --then APPEAL! You would be doing us all a service by addressing their blatant fascism. ~Wings

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You can appeal any medical decision the VA makes regarding your treatment. The first step is to call the patient advocate and explain the situation. I would also do as you were saying and talk to the PCP. I bet this happens all the time. I have a pain management contract also. If you drank a beer the day before the piss test that would be enought to violate your contract. I have had nothing but trouble with VA pain management. I got into a jam with them just for complaining about side effects of morphine they gave me. I do know there is a formal process to appeal any medical decisions the VA does, but they hide this, and the patient advocates try to never invoke it (causes paperwork and worries the boss). Sometimes you just cannot give water on demand. I have never been violated, but it is just a matter of time.

I have a civilian pain doctor as a backup. When I complained about the morphine Pain Management said I had to get off all my VA pain meds. I started with patient advocate and then called the medical director's office to complain, and start appeals process. You make a written appeal to the head of the medical director's office. It never got that far. It all got worked out in the end. Sometimes I believe the VA is just looking for an excuse to kick us off the program. The people running VA pain management seem to believe that every vet is getting drugs from VA and selling them on the street. The VA wants to know that you are taking the drug and not so much that you are taking other things. The assumption is not so much that you are a drug addict as a drug dealer.

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thanks all. i'm gonna wait and see what happens with the pcp appt next week. If it goes south, well, ...

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