Dr. Corazon Veza joins 10 other physicians, dentists, pharmacists and other health professionals – none from this area -- on the new Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) Advisory Council.
The council will issue recommendations for flagging suspicious prescribing habits within KASPER, so that unusual records may be submitted to medical licensure boards for further review or criminal investigation.
“While KASPER has been an excellent tool for tracking prescription drugs, this advisory group will fill a gap in the program’s effectiveness in targeting providers who are participating in criminal activity,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a prepared statement. “The professionals I’m appointing know the difference between legitimate prescriptions and what constitutes a pattern of abuse. This is just another way for us to identify and investigate providers who may have become drug pushers.”
Beshear joined Attorney General Jack Conway and House of Representatives Speaker Greg Stumbo in October to announce the changes to KASPER, as well as other initiatives to fight prescription drug abuse. The Governor issued an Executive Order creating the council on Oct. 14.
Veza could not be reached for comment.
“I look forward to working with this group to improve and streamline the data that licensing boards receive from KASPER – data that will assist in identifying doctors, dentists and nurses who may be overprescribing,” Conway said. “Improved data sharing will assist licensing boards and ultimately law enforcement officers with stopping unscrupulous medical professionals who may be helping fuel Kentucky’s prescription drug problem.”
“My goal all along has been to ensure that the medical licensure boards and KASPER officials truly work together as the legislature envisioned in 2003 to stop rogue doctors from over-prescribing pain medicine, so this new advisory board is a welcome step in the right direction,” said Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. “I’m committed to doing whatever else I can during the upcoming legislative session to put a stop to this epidemic once and for all.”
The advisory council will work with law enforcement professionals and KASPER officials at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to create methods for identifying generally accepted prescribing practices among different medical disciplines.
Prescription writing varies widely among different medical disciplines. A monthly rate of 50 prescriptions for painkillers may be routine for an oncologist, but unusually high for a dentist. The panel’s criteria will be used to guide when a prescriber or dispenser’s KASPER reports may be flagged for unusual prescribing activity.
Those reports will be submitted to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Kentucky Board of Dentistry, Kentucky Board of Nursing or Kentucky Board of Pharmacy. If prescribing patterns are not acceptable, further internal reviews will be conducted. If unlawful prescribing is identified, the report will be submitted to Kentucky State Police or the Attorney General for investigation.