Who said that the 50 MME’s in the proposed 2022 CDC guidelines wouldn’t replace the 90 MME/day limit ?


I’m not sure if you already know, but the State of Minnesota has been openly discriminating against chronic pain patients enrolled in Minnesota healthcare programs. Here in MN, people with lower incomes who are enrolled in programs like Medicaid and Minnesotacare (these are a population mostly comprised of low income, disabled and minority enrollees) has been limited SEPARATELY in opioid prescribing. State officials have admitted pressuring Medicaid/MnCare providers not to prescribe specifically to low income enrollees and they are doing so under threat of physician disenrollment from treating individuals in state programs. For many doctors and prescribers, this is the threat of financial ruin in return for their compassion.
Unfortunately, after almost 13 years of chronic pain, I have found myself enrolled one of these programs and experienced this discrimination personally. Recently, my diagnosis has worsened far beyond the herniated lower back that started my journey, and now I have fibro (possibly with fibro neuropathy in my feet, and they can’t seem to find the diagnosis for it). Very recently, after a fall, they discovered that my lower neck now has compressed discs and I have bone spurs and disc degeneration in my neck too. It burns so badly at night that it wakes me up and I can’t get back to sleep no matter what. Due to this new diagnosis, and also what I think have been really noticeable changes in medication potency of the hydro brand I’ve been taking for a long time (mallinckrodt hydrocodone 10/325), I respectfully requested a small increase in my pain medication to 70 mme (I’m currently at 65. I am a legacy patient with a very good record).

I was refused the small increase and told that I was at the “upper limit for my insurance”… I asked my provider with that meant and she said that under the kind of insurance I have (Minnesota Healthcare programs), I cannot be increased at all. I was also told that I can only be prescribed two kinds of medication…hydrocodone, and as she recently suggested Suboxone (I told her there was no way I would ever take Suboxone because I want to keep my teeth and I don’t want to be blackballed for the rest of my life). Schedule prescribe those two medications to me or nothing at all. Those are my options. Also, I found it frightening and insulting that she tried to throw me into Suboxone. After a short discussion I found she didn’t know anything about Suboxone AT ALL and that she was only considering prescribing that from a hyped up discussion she had with another PA practitioner. It was really kind of shocking that she would want me to take something that she didn’t know a thing about!

I did some research on her claims and I found that, yes…Minnesota Health Care programs are pushing doctors not to prescribe anyone beyond 50 MME of anything but Suboxone, and this was clearly designed to severely limit people like me who found themselves included with people from specific groups that the state decided were high risk. It was hard to accept that Minnesota, which likes to promote racial equity, was pigeonholing all of us together and discriminating against us all based on racial and income stereotypes. However I was not able to find where I was limited to only two different kinds of opioids, however, so that might also have been my provider fibbing, I’m not sure. Perhaps they were allowed to prescribe more hydrocodone? I don’t know.

But at any rate there are two articles that were published in the Minneapolis Star News Tribune that directly explains how the state is targeting people on Medicaid/Minnesotacare in Minnesota to be treated differently than people with private insurance. The people who initiated this were actually proud of blackmailing doctors to abuse low income people.

So this is where it’s at now. I’m not sure what I should do with this now, but I wrote a complaint of discrimination toward Minnesota Health Care programs. That was about a month ago now and I still have not received any reply.

Anyway, I was wondering if you knew anything about this and if you had any ideas to leverage this further for the cause. I do know that Kolodny has put up a remote office in Minnesota for PROP and we’re also dealing with the Steve Rummler Hope organization here too. I don’t have any other chronic pain allies in the state, unfortunately, which would be really helpful, but at this point I’ll take any help anyone can give me to move forward with this.

4 Responses

  1. my insurance,” quest,”’ just pulled the same thing to me,,,,,,,it s happening everywhere,,,,,,maryw

  2. Actually I live in MN and know a Medicaid patient that is on 130 mme. Her doctor applied for a waiver to go over the 50mme ruling. So it is possible to go over but your doctor has to fight for you.

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