Physicians worry their satisfaction ratings will plummet if they don't prescribe opioids to patients. (Photo: iStock)

Undoubtedly, most doctors don’t want to contribute to the opioid abuse epidemic sweeping the nation. But they also want to keep their patients satisfied. And often, the only way to satisfy a patient is to give him his fix.

In addition to the human instinct to ease a person’s pain, at least in the short term, doctors are under pressure to prescribe powerful painkillers from a provision of the Affordable Care Act that partially bases Medicare payments to hospitals based on patient satisfaction.

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