Latest data show Tomah VA hospital improving in opioid prescriptions, veteran satisfaction

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MADISON, Wis. — Despite reports of ongoing painkiller prescription practices and health care delivery concerns at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the scandal-plagued hospital has noted considerable improvement over the past 18 months, according to new data obtained by Wisconsin Watchdog.

The facility, described by veterans as “Candyland” because of its practice of overprescribing opioids, has seen pronounced declines in highly addictive painkiller prescriptions, according to a Tomah VAMC fact sheet. While the numbers fluctuate, the report snapshot found:

  • A 48 percent reduction in the amount of veterans receiving both opioids and benzodiazepines, the class of highly addictive sedative and muscle relaxant drugs.
  • A 49 percent decline in the number of veterans receiving greater than 100 morphine equivalent milligram daily dosages.
  • A 73 percent drop in the number of vets receiving greater than 400 morphine equivalent milligram dosages.

“Each veteran’s case is looked at individually through the Opioid Safety Initiative Committee and Academic Detailing at the (Veterans Integrated Services Network),” said Tomah VA spokesman Matthew Gowan.

The Opioid Safety Initiative is a “comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from chronic pain,” according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read more at Wisconsin Watchdog by clicking here

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