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Ohio health insurance companies release recommendations to fight opioid abuse crisis

Opioid abuse crisis - Ohio health insurance - hands reaching for pills

Eight of the largest insurers in the state issued fifteen recommendations to combat the epidemic.

Eight of Ohio’s largest health insurance companies have issued a list of 15 recommendations to fight the opioid abuse crisis.

The misuse of these serious drugs has reached epidemic proportions within Ohio and many other states.

The insurance companies have attempted to find areas where reasonable action is possible in combating the opioid abuse crisis. Among the recommendations are efforts to identify pregnant addicts to make certain they obtain the treatment they need.

That said, health insurers will be exempt from having to follow the recommendations themselves. This could end up costing insurance companies more money over the long term, suggested Dr. Mario San Bartolome of Molina Healthcare, in a Cleavland.com report.

“You know what? It costs more to do nothing,” said San Bartolome.

The health insurance company group that produced the opioid abuse crisis recommendations started in 2017.

Attorney General Mike DeWine originally organized the group of health insurance companies last year. Its recommendations included:

Health insurance providers should provide coverage for pain medications that are not opioid-based. They should also cover non-pharmacological treatments, for instance, massage therapy, physical therapy and weight loss programs.
• Education programs for “first fill” patients should be offered whenever an initial opioid prescription is obtained.
• Health insurance plans should include raised reimbursement rates for substance abuse treatment providers.
• The Ohio General Assembly should seek to alter state law. The purpose would be to make it possible for commercial insurance companies to obtain prescription data access within the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System. That system collects data regarding all controlled-substance prescriptions made outpatient. Currently, that information is available to health care licensing boards, police, and Medicaid managed-care organizations.

Opioid abuse crisis - Ohio health insurance - hands reaching for pillsOhio’s second largest health insurance provider, Buckeye Health Plan, recently launched a program to provide access to non-judgmental care managers working with pregnant women to treat them. These specific cases have been made a top priority in the battle against the opioid abuse crisis. It helps to ensure that not only the mother will be sober, but also the baby.

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