Fact File: Payers do their part in opioid crisis | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

Fact File: Payers do their part in opioid crisis

August 24, 2017
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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A number of managed care organizations are pursuing programs to reduce opioid overprescribing. Here are some of the most recent updates.

OptumRx launched its initiative on July 1 and reports:

  • 82% decrease in fills above the recommended 50 mg morphine equivalent dose
  • 65% decrease in first fills with more than a seven-day supply
  • 14% reduction in average dose across all opioids

Blue Shield of California is two years into its initiative and reports:

  • 32% reduction in overall consumption of opioids
  • 46.8% reduction in members using high-dose opioids
  • 17.8% reduction in average dose for chronic users

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s initiative for employer-sponsored plans reports:

  • 17% reduction in opioid prescriptions achieved over one year

Empire BlueCross and BlueShield’s initiative for employer-sponsored plans reports:

  • 13% reduction in opioid prescriptions achieved over one year

Anthem’s initiative reports:

  • 30% reduction in prescribed opioids filled at pharmacies achieved over five years
  • 29% reduction in opioid use for Virginia Medicaid members
  • 23% reduction in opioid use for employer-sponsored and individual plans in Nevada

Additionally, Intermountain Healthcare, which operates a provider network as well as a health plan, this week pledged to reduce the average amount of opioids prescribed per acute pain prescription by 40% by the end of 2018.

 

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