Avatar universal

Is there any recourse I can take for being dismissed by my pain Dr.?

I knew I had to have a drug test done but the M.A. did not remember.  I went into the bathroom and left a u.a. in a cup that's say's urine sample cups on them. There was no one available for me to give this to so I left it in the bathroom. When I was called to come in to see the dr. I told her that I had to have a drug test so I left it in the bathroom. She asked me where in there I had left it and I told her behind the no smoking sign. I was going to retrieve it but there was someone else in there taking a U.A. so we had to wait for her to come out. When she came out I went in and picked it up and handed it to the M.A. When I came in the next month I was in complete shock when my Dr. told me I showed up positive for heroin and clonazepam and that I was being dismissed from the clinic. I was so happy there, I received the necessary amount of medication I needed and got along so well with my nurse that wrote my prescriptions for me. She told me she tried to talk the doctor into keeping me but she said she had a zero tolerance policy. There were other meds. on there that I didn't even know what they were but they didn't say anything about them. I asked for a retest but was denied, dr. stated that if she did that for me she would have to do it for everyone. Needless to say I am very upset over this because I really do need my medication and did not take what it stated on the lab. test. Is there anything I can do to prove I didn't do what I am being accused of. Also why would I take something, remind them I had a test and then do illegal drugs the day before? The lab said I had done heroin within twenty four hrs. of the test. If you have any help for me I would deeply appreciate it.

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Avatar universal
Hopefully someone with more experience will come along but, being a pain mgt patient myself, the short answer is no, you have no recourse. A doctor can legally dismiss a patient for any reason, as long as it’s not discriminatory; if you signed an opiate contract with this clinic, I’m certain it states that you can be dismissed for a failed drug screen, among other things. You could ask your PCP for a referral to another pain clinic, but they will ask for your records, and if your current clinic put the reason for your dismissal in your record, it could be very difficult to find another clinic to prescribe medication to you. Once you ask for and receive your records, look them over and, if the drug test results are in there, add a letter of explanation, stating what you’ve said here. I’m really sorry this happened and I believe you, but the “opiate crisis” has created a climate where doctors will dismiss a patient at the first sign of non-compliance, out if fear that the DEA will come down on them if they don’t. Again, sorry, and good luck.
Helpful - 1
20803600 tn?1546262537
Did the MA recall the urine test being left in the bathroom to be able to back you up? It sounds like whomever was also giving a urine test may have switched urines... if he/she can verify that there was another patient right after you also providing a urine screen, and can compare that patients results and the ones reported as yours, and the other test shows YOUR meds, in proper doses, and the results attributed to you as containing her/his medications, aside from the heroin, you may be able to at least be given the benefit of the doubt. It should not be hard to PROVE IF the Med tech recalls the incident, to check the other patients results to what are prescribed. They can look at the schedule to find out who the other patient was, their results and check the results.
Most PM patients are not taking exactly the same meds, at exactly the same doses.
If the 2nd person was prescribed clonazepam, along with the other drugs that showed in your test , that would prove there was a mix up, intentional or accidental.
How long ago did you take the test? You could do a hair strand test which would prove you never used heroin or clonazepam, to back up your assertion.
Helpful - 1
Yes she remembers, the office was very busy that day and I do not know how many people used that bathroom after I left my sample in there.  She asked me where I left it in the bathroom.  I honestly believe someone tampered with it. I am so upset, I have cancer and so many other pain issues I can't manage with out my valium and oxycodone. I have never failed a drug test. I have been in pain clinics for 10 years, seven years at my most recent one. Thank you for your help. The dr. that own's the clinic will not allow me to retest, she won't even speak to me. I have only had one conversation with the dr. and the was on my first visit.
Your primary or another doctor can order the hair strand testing. If the MA can verify your story, and the hair strand testing confirms you never used heroin, you could present her verification and the results of the hair test to back up your claims of a mix up . The hair strand typically covers at least 6 months, maybe longer, depending on your hair length.
It would definitively prove you did not use the drugs you are accused of, and confirm your compliance with prescribed meds.
For my own Peace of mind, and to prove to any new physician you never used heroin, I would pursue the strand test.
She will not do it, she will not do anything for me. Can go in and have my hair tested on my own?  I that's possible do I ask for them to test me for heroin and clonazepam?
I believe you need a physician to order the test , otherwise insurance won't cover it.
The best option would be to ask your new primary, once you find one to order the test.
Avatar universal
I've tested positive for cocaine and was put on probation, having to go in every 2 weeks. Number of UAs didnt increase but suddenly no one would fill for this nurse. I requested my records and was going to get a referral from my family doc but she did refer me to another clinic.  My contract says we can be dismissed for no reason at all. The new place has not gone over them it seems. But the contract says go directly to family doc so you don't suffer horrid withdraw. Good luck. Please write back.
Helpful - 1
The pain clinic I was going  to were also my primary care doctor. On the papers on the back of my discharge it shows drug  detox centers for me to go to.  Yes the M.A. can verify my story.
Even though I'm a registered nurse, I'm in severe pain due to recent injuries. I have multiple rib fractures bilaterally & can't get any caregiver to manage my pain adequately. Also, a year ago I had my right total hip replacement. Now THAT was brutal. The nazi who replaced my hip did not believe in post-op pain management. I've been a nurse since 1975 and never have I ever withheld pain medications for my patients in pain. I also noticed that healthcare providers start with the assumption that a new patient is a 'drug seeker' & an addict before even talking to the patient. I'm mad as hell about this situation. I have nothing whatsoever in common with drug addicts or their overdoses.
20803600 tn?1546262537
Most primary doctors do not treat chronic pain these days, so you were fortunate in yours doing so.
At this point, your best option is to call your insurance company or go to their website and look for pain treatment centers. A physiatrist, physical medicine and rehab physician may also be an option.
Did you do anything about requesting the hair strand testing? If not, the odds of getting your primary to reconsider are slim to none.
You will have to explain the failed test, so when you find a new doctor, maybe the MA might provide a statement to back up your concern abouta mix up. It's better than nothing.
I would caution you though, be prepared for a new doctor to be wary of prescribing opiates or benzos for a long period of time, and if they do, at a much lower dose.
Helpful - 0
They are my primary care doctor also. I'm left with no dr. to go to. She will not see me or speak with me. She said if she does anything for me she will have to do it for someone else.
Then I strongly suggest you check your insurance website, locate a new primary. Ask them for a referral to a pain management clinic.
Even if you are able to find a new pain management doctor, they likely will not prescribe pain meds, at least for a long time.

Avatar universal
Yes, it seems your oncologist  might be able to help, if not with pain meds yet, at least methadone or the other withdraw meds. When my nurse over prescribed in December,  and no one would fill, I was suck the entire month in withdrawal until my next appointment. I still plan in using her, for my suffering and for her over prescribing. I walked into a methadone clinic, who made me leave as I wasnt a client. My new pain clinic explained there is a year wait.
Helpful - 0
I had severe pain for a long time after surgeries & injuries & methadone is also a very fine pain medicine. No withdrawal on my part, just pain relief.
Methadone can and is used in pain management but it is typically not used as a first choice option- nor should it be. While it manages pain very well- it’s long half life, and potential for cardiac issues, respiratory compromise makes it a less than optimal choice for patients in most circumstances in the early years of treatment. There are very real risks if someone takes more than prescribed to accidentally overdose.
Avatar universal
On suing..I cant see the words I'm typing after a certain point.
Helpful - 0
You can't sue a doctor for dismissing you unless you can prove it was with malicious intent/discriminatory.
The failed urine test is grounds for the dismissal.
In the world of pain management, there is typically a phrase in the contracts that lays out grounds for dismissal- missed appts, failed urine test, non compliance with treatment recommendations, or dosing instructions, use of illegal/illicit substances, suspicion of misuse/abuse of prescribed medications.
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