On March 29, Ohio Academy of Family Physicians President Don Mack, MD, sent a letter to A.J. Groeber, executive director of the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO), and Steven W. Schierholt, executive director of the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (SOBP), requesting a meeting to discuss the threatening emails that physicians continue to receive about alleged missing Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) checks.
In his letter Dr. Mack states, “Every time a new batch of these emails goes out, our office receives complaints from members about the lack of specificity of the emails – from the “Dear Licensee” salutation and wide range of alleged missed checks (9 misses clearly being more serious than 1 miss) to the lack of patient information provided to allow the prescriber to easily check to see if the OARRS check was actually missed or if it is a result of bad data received from the SOBP. The emails are frustrating, insulting, and highhanded at best. As one email received by our office states, ‘Does the board not owe us exact data when they make these accusations?’”
The letter goes on to state, “Because of the lack of specific patient information provided in these emails to prescribers, the physician has to spend an incredible amount of time trying to identify if/how a check may have been missed. It is up to the physician to find errors in the OARRS report and notify the SMBO in hopes of getting the SOBP to correct the errors. This time consuming process could be eliminated if data gleaned were authenticated prior to being sent to prescribers. At the very least, the time spent by the physician in this ‘looking for a needle in a haystack’ exercise could be streamlined if only a specific list of patients not checked was provided.”
The letter ties this imposition on physicians to physician burnout. Physician burnout caused by administrative burdens imposed by governmental agencies is real. While our members wish to fully comply with state laws and regulations, these accusatory, non-specific emails are just another contributor to the vast problem of physician burnout.
In his letter Dr. Mack suggests a more team-oriented approach to accomplish the Kasich administration’s prescribing goals. If you are truly interested in helping physicians identify missed checks and cleaning up errors in OARRS reporting data, then work with us collaboratively, by giving us specific patient information so that we can more easily determine whether missed checks are valid.
Dr. Mack’s letter concludes, “We continue to be very disappointed in the approach taken with regard to accusations about missing OARRS checks. Less accusatory behavior and more helpful team-based methodology would foster better collaboration toward achieving goals. We request a meeting with you to discuss this further.”
Governor Kasich also received a copy of the letter.
If you have examples of errors contained within these “Dear Licensee” emails, please email them to OAFP. We will utilize them in our meeting with the boards.