17 Tennessee dentists need evaluation for abnormal opioid prescription

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Seventeen dentists were overlooked by state health officials and should be examined for potentially overprescribing opioids, the Tennessee state comptroller's office announced Jan. 22.

The names of the dentists were not publicly released, but were given to the Tennessee Department of Health, John Dunn, a comptroller spokesperson, told The Tennessean.

The report identified a total of 62 prescribers who had abnormal prescribing patterns in 2017. While the data alone does not prove wrongdoing, it can be used to launch investigations.

The health department had not opened a query, the first step toward an investigation, for 31 of those prescribers — 17 dentists, 10 doctors, two nurse practitioners and two physician assistants.

The health department did not respond to The Tennessean's request for comment.

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