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.

4 thoughts on “Addressing the Opioid Epidemic Through Measurement and Transparency

  1. I’m looking for information regarding HEDIS measures for outpatient office based medically assisted treatment programs for alcohol and opioid dependence. I know that measures are promised for 2018.
    Thank you.

  2. 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.

  3. In Louisiana, I have to show my driver’s license every time I fill a scrip for painkillers (opiod and tramadol , both).
    I would like to know how this procedure has impacted opiod overuse if at all.

  4. All this hoopla because of drug addicts makes it hell on those of us that are in pain that need pain meds and use pain meds for pain NOT recreation or escape. What all the so called experts don’t realize is that addicts will just switch drugs. And steal. The addicts causing all the problems aren’t getting their drugs through so called legal means anyway. And all this over opioid when there is a much more dangerous drug out there that is being ignored. I have witnessed its effect on friends first hand. And its Xanax. Most everyone I know turns into the worst mean drunk that ever was. I saw a son attack his father while using Xanax. And they don’t have any concept of right and wrong while using Xanax. And if a person ever gets it out of their system and has a clear head they can’t believe the things they say and have done while under the influence of XANAX. This is by far a more dangerous drug than any on the market. Yet it is handed out by doctors without a care in the world. The pdr says not to prescribe to alcoholics but that doesn’t stop them. And it is much more addicting. Plus even ones that don’t mean to abuse it forget they took a dose and take another which messes them up that much more. You can’t reason with a person on Xanax. They just deny everything while under its control. Xanax alters the mind. Ativan is a lot less dangerous and calming. But Xanax if truth was known probably contributes to more overdose death and traffic accidents than opioids. And studies were done in britain that showed that when pain meds are used for pain people do not get addicted. The ones that continue to use them when the pain is gone they are the problem. In Britain they have had cases of people in hospices that use heroin that go in remission or recover and they leave but are not addicted to the heroin. Britain says they use it because it controls the pain and the patient is still alert to visit with loved ones.

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