The Federal Response to the Opioid Crisis
Opioid addiction is one of the fastest-growing problems in America! In 2016, nearly 116 people died each day from opioid-related overdoses in the United States. The next year, in October of 2017, a Public Health Emergency was declared in response to the national opioid crisis. At both the federal and state levels there is progress being made towards beginning to combat this crisis. To prevent more deaths from this epidemic it is important for all healthcare professionals to have a clear understanding of their role within it. The OIG, Office of Inspector General, has identified three top priorities in their response to the opioid epidemic:
- Identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Health and Human Services programs.
- Identify, better investigation tools, better enforcement, and accountability of those engaged in fraud.
- Empowering and collaborating with partners through better data sharing and education.
As part of their strategy to fight the opioid crisis, the OIG released the results of an analysis of Part D prescription drug event records for opioids received in 2017. Part of the study determined beneficiaries' morphine equivalent dose (MED), which is a measure that converts the various opioids and strengths into one standard value. The study revealed:
- Nearly 1 in 3 Part D beneficiaries received a prescription opioid in 2017.
- 1 in 10 Part D beneficiaries received opioids for 3 months or more.
- There was a decrease from 2016 to 2017 from the beneficiaries who received high amounts of opioids.
- About 71,000 beneficiaries are at serious risk of opioid misuse or overdose. Almost 300 of the prescribers had questionable opioid prescription practices.
- Overall Part D spending for opioids decreased due in part to declining prices.
Did you know?
That nearly 116 people in 2016 died in the United States from opioid-related drug overdoses? According to NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 49,000 Americans died from opioid overdose in 2017, with a significant increase in synthetic opioids, predominantly Fentanyloverdose from the years prior. For more information check out the NIDA, Overdose Statistics.
To achieve success in combating this health epidemic. HHS including CMS and OIG will continue to work together to develop new strategies in the effort to end this opioid crisis. These efforts include:
- CMS is implementing new initiatives in 2019.
- OIG is also working to increase its efforts to fight the opioid crisis by working with law enforcement partners.
- Identifying other approaches to support prevention.
- OIG is also committed to continuing forging relationships with States and the private sector.
- OIG supports States' efforts to implement and enforce strong prescriptions drug monitoring programs. `
Healthcare Compliance Pros is excited to announce the release of our new Opioid Crisis Training module on October 1, 2018. Education is the best form of prevention, to best serve your patients, it is important to be able to understand what the opioid crisis is. Our training course will answer the following questions and more!
- How did it begin?
- How do opioids work?
- What are the signs of an overdose?
- What are the signs of an addiction?
- What treatments should be used?
- What response is being done at the federal and state levels?
- Is there a guideline for the prescribing of opioids?
Do you have questions about this new course? Are you interested in adding this new training? If so, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 855-427-0427.