Health plans nationwide are working closely with state and federal leaders, as well as with physicians and other providers on multiple strategies to address the opioid crisis. To build on these efforts, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has launched its Safe, Transparent Opioid Prescribing (STOP) Initiative. The STOP Initiative is designed to support widespread adoption of clinical guidelines for pain care and opioid prescribing.
Opioid misuse and addiction is an urgent public health crisis in America. As leading researchers have noted, the number of prescriptions for opioids (e.g., hydrocodone and oxycodone products such as Vicodin and Percocet, respectively) have escalated from approximately 76 million in 1991 to nearly 207 million in 2013.
The United States is the biggest consumer, accounting for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone and 81 percent of oxycodone use, as a result, approximately 142 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, a two-fold increase in a decade (NIDA). Of these overdose deaths, opioids were involved in more than 67 percent of deaths (CDC). Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans, outnumbering both traffic accidents and gun-related deaths (CDC).
This Playbook has been updated to include information on new opioid-related activities that occurred in 2018.
Medical management tools are a critical piece of ensuring patients receive safe, effective, and affordable care based on scientific evidence. As the industry works to tackle the opioid epidemic, these tools have become increasingly important when addressing pain management, reducing unnecessary opioid prescribing, and treating opioid use disorder (OUD).
The consequences of substance use disorder (SUD) and the opioid crisis are profound, impacting individuals and families no matter where they live, how much they earn, or how young or old they are. The impact is broad, affecting the health care system, social services, communities, and the economy.
AHIP convened a group of health insurance providers over the last year to discuss strategies to improve access to non-opioid approaches to lower back pain. The organizations came together to discuss the barriers to treatment of cLBP with an emphasis on non-opioid treatments and potential strategies to address those barriers. Input from several medical societies has also been incorporated.
Health plans are committed to protecting patients from addiction and providing people with better pathways to healing.
Click through our interactive graphic to learn more.
Blog posts by AHIP member plans concerning the opioid crisis.