Addressing the Opioid Epidemic Through Measurement and Transparency

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There is another worthy opponent in the fight against the opioid epidemic — health plans. This year NCQA added two new HEDIS® measures created for health plans to track opioid use.

One measure tracks opioid use at high dose – this measures long-term, high dose use; a risk factor for overdose and death.

The second measure tracks opioid prescriptions from multiple providers or multiple pharmacies. Right now there’s no system for tracking  prescriptions that are filled from one state to the other. However, health plans can use claims data to track opioid prescriptions across state lines and from more than one provider.

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

There is a lot more to these measures than tracking and gauging opioid use or overuse. In the video above, Dr. Mary Barton, NCQA VP for Performance Measurement and Jenna Williams-Bader, Director for Performance Measurement explain that health plans, as the newest group of stakeholders addressing the opioid epidemic, can help clinicians and patients cut back on overuse and find new treatments for pain.

Want to learn more? Check out the video! You may learn something new!

Cindy Peña
Cindy is Senior Communications Manager at NCQA. Her focus is building consumer awareness through media and public relations. A communications and public engagement strategist with a background steeped in TV news reporting, Cindy is also part of NCQA’s Creative Services unit developing messaging through visual storytelling.

One thought on “Addressing the Opioid Epidemic Through Measurement and Transparency

  1. 11/21/17
    This is amazing that this hasn’t been done. It seems that my insurance knows everything about my addiction. My health providers will not prescribe opioids to me. Now, I am glad. I am not addicted to narcotics, presently. I know, though, that there are many people that get narcotics on a monthly basis.

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