Healthcare Payer Strategies to Reduce the Harms of Opioids   [open pdf - 3MB]

"Prescription opioid misuse and opioid use disorder (OUD) are significant and growing public health problems in the United States (U.S.) that impact stakeholders across the healthcare sector, including private, employer-sponsored, and public health plans.(1-4)[1] Healthcare payers (herein, payers), employer organizations, and law enforcement all have strong motivations to combat the inappropriate prescribing of opioids to improve patient health and reduce expenditures for medically unnecessary services and therapies. These are largescale problems for which payers play a critical role in reducing fraud, waste, and abuse while ensuring access to medically necessary therapies. Payers can help to combat the opioid crisis by identifying and sharing strategies, such as reimbursement and coverage policies, conditions for provider plan participation, and dissemination of information to a variety of audiences, to address the large-ranging issues that lead to fraud, waste, and abuse in the healthcare system. Such interventions are particularly suited to payers due to their relationships with providers of healthcare services, pharmacies, insured patients, employers, and law enforcement (in cases where potential fraud is identified). Payers collect and administer a large amount of healthcare information that can be used to identify and intervene on behalf of patients at risk of opioid-related harm, as well as to target fraud, waste, and abuse in opioid prescribing."

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: https://www.cms.gov/
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