Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling announced yesterday that his office sent letters to doctors around the state warning them their opioid prescribing practices were "a source of concern."
He says a data review by his office identified them as having prescribed opioids to a patient within 60 days of their death, or to a patient who later died of an overdose.
He says the Department of Justice has not, at this point, determined if any of the doctors contacted had broken the law — and did not disclose what exactly the letters said and how many went out when contacted by WBUR.
It's a significant action by a U.S. attorney in the midst of a national opioid crisis, and raises major questions about physician and patient privacy.
Watchdogs say state and federal law enforcement agencies access thousands of patients' prescription records every year — often without warrants.
This segment aired on November 30, 2018.