As crazy is it seems, your pain doctor may be testing you for illegal street drugs even if you have no history of using them. Why? To make money, of course. The Wall Street Journal has published anarticle documenting how many pain specialists are making large sums of money by doing drug tests. In some cases, the doctors make more money on drug screening than they do on providing actual medical treatment. This is all possible because Medicare pays for advanced drug screening. Some time ago, Medicare began to encourage doctors to check their chronic-pain patients to be sure they were not abusing pain pills. This involved drug screening. Once the costs for routine drug screening got to be too much, Medicare capped what they would pay for such testing. Creative doctors simply switched to more high tech drug screening. Medicare has no caps on what it will pay for these more advanced drug screening procedures. Indeed, the more substances your doctor screens for, the more Medicare will reimburse her. A doctor in North Carolina boasted that “Urine drug testing is how I pay the bills,” If you have a pain specialist, ask him or her about drug screening. Find out if your doctor is screening you for heroin or meth or PCP. You may discover your doctor is treating you like a junkie so that he or she can soak Medicare for more money. More tax money, that is.