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The Doctor Shopping Tactic

The professional doctor shopper will move from area to area. It is not uncommon for the professional doctor shopper to travel to one area (for one week) while visiting 8 to 10 clinics, then move to another state or area (for one week) while visiting another 8 to 10 clinics, then move to yet another state or area (for one week) visiting another 8 to 10 clinics, then travel back to their home state and sell all of their drugs during the 4th week.

Mindset

They are highly professional and consider their job as a challenge.

Tactic

The drug seeker will make up a symptom and act out the part. They will come up with a very convincing excuse as to why they do not have insurance. They may pose as a professional (i.e. attorney, accountant, etc.). They may fax their (fictitious) medical records to you (prior to their appointment) using counterfeit letter head and reports. The doctor shopper will provide you a fake ID that will make you believe that they live in close proximity to the clinic.

Clinic Selection

The Professional Drug Seeker will select Doctors based on:

  • Their perception of weakness over strength;
  • What they have heard about the doctor; or
  • What their patients say about them.

Flags

The drug seeker:

  • Will likely present a fake/counterfeit DL or ID upon new patient intake.
  • Will avoid being photographed.
  • Will avoid clinics who request laboratory conformations for urine drug tests. The drug seeker can pass a point of care drug test by taking one capsule/tablet the night before their appointment. The drug seeker does not want to take up to five days of the medication in order to pass a laboratory conformation.
  • Will avoid clinics who requests pill counts. The drug seeker does not want to hold back pills to be counted. They want to sell the pills on the street.

Safeguards

  1. Verify all DLs or IDs presented by new patients upon intake.
  2. Complete a comprehensive risk assessment.
  3. It the patient’s medical records are faxed, verify fax number.
  4. Maintain an updated patient agreement.
  5. Enforce your patient agreement.
  6. Photograph all new patients.
  7. Mandate random pill counts.
  8. Mandate random urine testing. Assess lab conformations.
  9. Pay attention to the subconscious verbal and non-verbal cues presented by the patient.

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