States have broad authority to influence and regulate the prescribing and dispensing of prescription drugs and do so in a variety of ways. CDC provides data and resources to equip and inform states about putting into practice strategies that help prevent high-risk prescribing and improve treatment for battles against opioid addiction and overdose.
The extent of the opioid crisis means years of work, resources, and programming from payers, providers, and patients. A recent effort, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conducted a literature review and interviewed insurers, providers, and patient advocates looking for the most current efforts, data, and experiences from the frontlines of the opioid crisis.
This week and in separate press releases, Anthem and OptumRx announced significant improvements through their opioid programs. These successes mark new options for the battle in, what the President declared, the opioid "national emergency". The following are important points from their separate announcements.
For payers, identifying doctors who write more opioid prescriptions can be key for any successful opioid management program. Using the one factor influencing opioid prescription habits, payers can target education improving the overall provider network performance. Physicians trained at the United States’ lowest-ranked medical schools write more opioid prescriptions than physicians trained at the highest-ranked schools, according to a study by Princeton University.
The CDC released a report Integrating & Expanding Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Data: Lessons from Nine States detailing a promising strategy for addressing the prescription opioid overdose epidemic. The study focused on improving the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)...
The results from a recently released report identified promising results in some of 26 state workers’ compensation systems. Using data comprising over 400,000 nonsurgical injured worker compensation claims with more than seven days of lost time, and over 2 million prescriptions are associated with these claims from 26 states, a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) observed considerable decreases in the prevalence of longer-term dispensing of opioids to injured workers in a number of states studied.
Blue Shield of California saw opioid use drop among its plan participants with non-cancer pain during the first two years of the health plan's Narcotic Safety Initiative, a three-year program to help its members avoid opioid abuse and addiction.
Health plans create best practices and lead with concrete strategies for preventing opioid overuse. The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) recently issued a report detailing the innovations and best practices of its member Health Plans in their efforts to combat opioid misuse and overuse. The opioid epidemic led to an estimated 33,000 deaths and more than 300,000 emergency room visits in 2015, and recognized as a subject of intense debate on Capitol Hill and in statehouses around the country.
Behavioral health claims skyrocket for any number and combination of factors. Behavioral health care will increase in cost and utilization with a number of factors driving this, including the:
According to the CDC, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Of the overdose deaths that occurred in 2015, 63 percent involved an opioid. Payer options for managing efforts against opioid overuse range from monitoring population data to working with provider networks.