Tripler’s Sole Provider Program has patient’s best interest in mind

| July 9, 2010 | 1 Comment

Jan Clark
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs

HONOLULU — Tripler Army Medical Center’s Sole Provider Program maximizes benefits and minimizes the risks associated with the use of specific pain, anxiety, anti-seizure and sleep medications.

A committee consisting of representatives from various departments, including psychiatry, pain management and the pharmacy, evaluates patients who are potential candidates for the program.

Often, patients requiring long-term care do not always receive coordinated medications, as they are prescribed by multiple providers. This can lead to overlapping side effects, underuse or overuse of medications or confusion from receiving multiple instructions.  

The Sole Provider Program aims to eliminate at least some of these risks.

“There are patients with bona fide chronic pain issues that need high doses of narcotic pain medications for long periods of time,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Jose Acosta, deputy commander for clinical services. “We want to protect our patients, ensure they receive the right medications and the right doses of those medications. We want to keep them safe.”

Prescribing large amounts of potentially dangerous medication to meet the legitimate needs of patients, and yet being able to identify those patients who improperly use these medications is a challenge. 

The Sole Provider Program is in place to assist providers in preventing patients from harming themselves. 

The program supports providers in offering quality care for their patients’ therapeutic needs. 

Patients may be nominated for the program by their providers, or identified based on their prescription fill history. 

All patients are assessed by the committee. 

If recommended for the Sole Provider Program, the patient is assigned a Sole Provider and an Alternate Sole Provider, and notified by letter.

Both providers will be fully aware of the patient’s condition and medication requirements.  

If the Sole Provider is not available, the Alternate Sole Provider will be able to prescribe what the patient needs.

“We cannot stress enough that while many may view this program as a means to ‘catch’ patients who are improperly using these medications, the true benefit of the Sole Provider Program is to streamline a patient’s pain care,” Acosta said. 

“All patients with bona fide pain are seen by the same provider who knows them well and assists them in ways to better manage their pain.” 

“Building a relationship with one provider allows for better coordination and communication,” Acosta said. “This leads to a better way of meeting a patient’s needs.” 


For more information on the Sole Provider Program at Tripler Army Medical Center, e-mail TAMC or call 433-5785. 


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Comments (1)

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  1. Janie Griswold says:

    The down side to a sole provider means if the pharmacy your trying to use to fill your meds, doesn’t get an ok from the said sole provider, then they do not fill them. This causes problems when doctor visits run late and surgery the next morning is before pcm or sole provider are in the office. This forces patients given perscriptions before a surgery to pay out of pocket. 3 times now I will have to pay for my meds out of picket because of this program. And if you object to it in anyway, your labeled and addict.

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