Patient Shoots Two at Las Vegas Pain Clinic

By Pat Anson, Editor

A gunman who shot and wounded two people at a Las Vegas pain clinic before taking his own life has been identified as 50-year old Chad Broderick of Las Vegas.

Police say Broderick walked into the Center for Wellness and Pain Care of Las Vegas Thursday afternoon and asked for an unscheduled appointment to see a doctor. When it was refused, he pulled out a gun and started shooting in the lobby. About a dozen people were inside the clinic at the time.

“When I heard the first gunshot, I thought it was a bottle or something on the floor, like something just popped,” a patient told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“When I started hearing that ‘pop, pop, pop,’ I was so scared.”

“One of the most frightening experiences ever!” Neville Campbell, MD, the pain clinic’s medical director, wrote on his Facebook page soon after the shooting.

NEVILLE CAMPBELL/FACEBOOK

NEVILLE CAMPBELL/FACEBOOK

Campbell said there were “piercing screams” as people ran to escape the gunfire.

“As we barricaded ourself (with 5 others ) with a wooden desk behind the door in small office , the question of life, meaning and purpose overwhelmed my mind,” said Campbell. “But God is Good. He will never desert his own. Thank you for protecting my staff members.”

The two people who were hit by gunfire are expected to survive. Two others suffered minor injuries while trying to escape. Broderick died at the scene after shooting himself.

CHAD BRODERICK/FACEBOOK

CHAD BRODERICK/FACEBOOK

Broderick’s neighbors told the Review Journal that he was a husband and father of two, who mostly kept to himself but had a friendly wave. One neighbor called Broderick a “really nice gentleman” who complained of back pain.

“He used to talk about taking pain pills,” said Welborn Williams. “He couldn’t get any sleep at night.”

Broderick’s Facebook page reveals a man who loved fishing and was a gun enthusiast. Ironically, in 2012 Broderick recommended without comment on his page a story about an employee at a Las Vegas medical clinic who was shot during an armed robbery.

The Review Journal reported that Broderick had a concealed weapons permit and five firearms. Williams said Broderick had offered to teach him about firearms.

“I hate to see anyone in pain like that,” Williams said. “But there should have been another way for him.”

In a statement on its Facebook page, the clinic thanked “all our patients and friends for your kind words and well wishes. We are grateful that everyone is ok.”

The clinic's website says its mission is to "foster an environment of healing" through interventional pain treatments such as epidural steroid injections, as well as massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy and prayer.

The Facebook statement said the clinic would probably remain closed until July 10. Its patients are being referred to another clinic in Henderson, a Las Vegas suburb.

Feds Unveil Opioid Mapping Tool

By Pat Anson, Editor

Big Brother is watching your doctor. And now you can watch too.

In a graphic display of just how closely the government is tracking the prescribing of opioid pain medication, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released an interactive online map that allows ordinary citizens to follow opioid prescribing trends across the United States.

The map not only permits users to see the number and percentage of opioid prescription claims for each state filed under Medicare Part D – but to drill down on the data to counties, ZIP codes and even prescribers. Over 31 million people are enrolled in Medicare Part D, which subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.

“The opioid epidemic impacts every state, county and municipality. To address this epidemic, while ensuring that individuals with pain receive effective treatment, we need accurate, timely information about where the problems are and to what extent they exist,” said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. 

“This new mapping tool gives providers, local health officials, and others the data to become knowledgeable about their community’s Medicare opioid prescription rate.”

The data used in the mapping tool is from Medicare Part D prescription drug claims in 2013, when over 80 million claims for opioids were filed at a cost of $3.7 billion.

The names of Medicare patients are not included in the online map, but prescribers can be looked up by name.

“By openly sharing data in a secure, broad, and interactive way, CMS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) believe that this level of transparency will inform community awareness among providers and local public health officials,” the CMS said in a statement.

That kind of easy access to prescribing data -- without any context -- is chilling to Mark Ibsen, a Montana doctor who stopped prescribing opioid pain medication to patients because he feared prosecution or losing his medical license.

"Let's keep threatening data bases on car dealers and the crashes that happen, or pharmacies and who dies from their meds, or oncologists and what they prescribe, or police officers and who they have shot, or people we have dated and where they live," Ibsen said in an email to Pain News Network.

"Whatever useless data we can, thinking because it may be useful, using it, regardless of ANY forethought about harm, unintended consequences, or impact on prescribers, patients, business or law enforcement. This has gotten so carried away. I'm done. Whatever evil idea is going on, whoever thought this up, needs to be reeled in."

A look at the national map shows that Alabama, Oklahoma and Nevada have the highest rates of opioid prescribing for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Over 7 percent of the claims in those states were filed for opioid pain medication, compared to a national average of 5 percent.

Counties and ZIP Codes can have much higher rates, as the map below shows. ZIP code 89081 is north of Las Vegas, near Nellis Air Force Base. Over 34% of the Medicare claims filed by two prescribers in that ZIP code were for opioids.

“The opioid abuse and overdose epidemic continues to devastate American families,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD. “This mapping tool will help doctors, nurses, and other health care providers assess opioid-prescribing habits while continuing to ensure patients have access to the most effective pain treatment. Informing prescribers can help reduce opioid use disorder among patients.”

The CDC is trying to rein in opioid prescribing by issuing guidelines for primary care physicians, who prescribe most of the nation’s opioids. Those guidelines, which are expected to be released in January, encourage doctors to prescribe non-opioid pain relievers and “non-pharmacological” treatments for chronic non-cancer pain.

A recent survey of over 2,000 pain patients by Pain News Network and the Power of Pain Foundation found that 90 percent are worried they will lose access to opioid pain medication if the guidelines are adopted. Many also believe the guidelines will lead to more addiction and overdoses, not less.