BALTIMORE, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritox is the recognized national leader in pain-medication monitoring owing to its commitment to support science, its long-public national ethical standards and its best-in-class compliance program developed in consultation with the Office of Inspector General (OIG). During the past months, a San Diego-based drug testing laboratory has made comments in press releases about the business practices of Ameritox and other major competitors. Though its longstanding preference has been to not engage, Ameritox has determined that this steady flow of propaganda requires us to correct the inaccuracies issued by this company and to provide accurate information.
"As a leading statesman once said, you're entitled to your own opinion - you're not entitled to your own facts. That our San Diego competitor seeks to reinvent history is inappropriate business behavior. Customers rely on accurate and truthful information to make good decisions for patients and anything less is shameful," said Ancelmo Lopes, chief executive, Ameritox. "We're proud that Ameritox is the only pain medication monitoring company with a fully implemented, effective compliance program that meets all of the requirements of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the US Department of Health and Human Services," he added.
History of High Standards: Ameritox Plans Are OIG Reviewed
Ameritox works closely with independent and Federal agencies to review its customer support programs, in a review process that represents an industry best practice. The current Ameritox management team was brought aboard post-2005 events, which led to a 2010 Corporate Integrity Agreement between the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the US Department of Health and Human Services and Ameritox. Under the Corporate Integrity Agreement, customer relationship programs are examined by an internal compliance committee, independent external reviewer and the Federal government. Specifically, the Ameritox Specimen Processor program is the only one of its kind in the industry that has been reviewed by the OIG and operates in consultation with the OIG.
No Free Goods Provided in Accordance to OIG Rules
Customers rely on their service providers to adhere to the highest standards. Ameritox supports a Physician's choice to use Point of Care Testing for their patients; however, Ameritox does not provide customers with free or discounted point-of-care (POC) drug-testing cups. Providing gratis or reduced-cost POC cups for physicians to perform billable testing is a questionable practice that Ameritox believes is a violation of anti-kickback laws, therefore putting physician practices at risk.
Ethical Standards are for the Nation -- Not State-by-State
Ameritox believes that ethics are concrete and not subject to local competitive whims. Consistent with OIG customer relationship program review, our company will place onsite processors in physician offices to ensure accurate processing of pain medication monitoring paperwork where such processors are permitted. This OIG reviewed program supports ongoing delivery of monitoring in a market with an epidemic of opioid abuse. The San Diego-based company hotly contends this practice in Florida should be stopped and is bolstering this position with PAC-fund support for legislators considering policies against this practice. However, in as many as 15 other states the same company openly supports the very practice it claims to abhor, employing their own specimen processors yet not under OIG oversight. At Ameritox, we believe in one set of values that must not be twisted for competitive advantage. Physician information and patient care are our priorities.
No Need to Retest Negative Drug Samples
Retesting samples screened initially by a laboratory as negative enables companies to charge additional fees for unneeded services -- the process neither advances patient care nor controls taxpayer costs. Ameritox, unlike a San Diego company, does not recommend customers retest negative drug samples much less make it a standing practice to retest all negative drug samples.
"For clinicians treating the 50 million US chronic-pain sufferers, helping patients find safe, effective relief is the ultimate priority -- and ensuring that medications are taken appropriately is a critical part of that mission," said Harry Leider, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Ameritox.
Lobbying and PAC Funds
Ameritox invests in science that advances patient pain-medication monitoring and not in political campaigns. Ameritox believes that by advancing the science and providing clinical support for pain-medication studies, experts will be able to determine how and when to best use these tests to complement Federal government policies. That said, its San Diego competitor supports state-government legislative efforts and funds those opinions with PAC resources. In Florida alone, where pending key legislation benefits that company, it has targeted $20,000 in contributions.
Ameritox, as the national leader in pain medication monitoring, believes it is important to provide transparent exchange whether business practice or clinical science. The Company's client relationship programs are subject to independent audit and OIG review and Ameritox adheres to the highest standards in Federal and state policy.
Ameritox is the nation's leader in pain medication monitoring solutions, offering specialized laboratory testing and reporting services. Ameritox's expertise and innovative science provide physicians with insights and support to enhance and optimize the care of chronic pain patients. Ameritox offers the most thorough pain medication monitoring lab process -- Rx Guardian(SM) -- with Rx Guardian CD(SM), the only pain medication monitoring solution with a proprietary normalization algorithm and a reference database of pain patients assessed for medication adherence. Patient results are compared against this database, helping physicians assess whether patients are taking their pain medications correctly. Medication monitoring through urine drug testing helps physicians make more informed clinical decisions and manage the risks and complexities associated with prescribing pain medications. Ameritox is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. with laboratory facilities in Midland, Texas and Greensboro, N.C. Ameritox can be found online at www.ameritox.com, on Twitter @Ameritox, or on Facebook at facebook.com/ameritox.
© 2012 Ameritox Ltd. All rights reserved. AMERITOX, the AMERITOX logos, AMERITOX AUTOREMINDER, AMERITOX MEDICATION MONITORING SOLUTIONS, AMERITOX UNIVERSITY, PAIN MEDICATION MONITORING SOLUTIONS, POWERED BY YOUR NEED TO KNOW and PROTECT YOUR PATIENTS. PROTECT YOUR PRACTICE. RX GUARDIAN, RX GUARDIAN CD, and RX GUARDIAN AUTOREMINDER are trademarks of Ameritox.