Tom's Take | September 12th, 2019

How are health plans being proactive about handling the opioid crisis?

Tom’s Take: Reports from the CDC say that an average of 130 deaths in the U.S. each day are attributed to opioid addiction. That’s a startling statistic.

This was a topic that came up at our last Cypress University. It’s one that Ron Peck of The Phia Group encouraged plan administrators and benefits professionals pay close attention to. As the opioid epidemic grows in severity, we were reminded how so many people are looking to pinpoint the source of the problem … playing the “blame game” because of the mounting frustration that comes with the lack of progress in fixing the issue.

So, while health plans are smart to consider any sort of financial risk and legal exposure that opioid addiction can possibly present, they are also wise to be part of the charge in proactively implementing solutions.

Here are some ways health plans are getting involved:

I think we all understand that, for as serious as the opioid addiction crisis has become, we aren’t going to find an effective fix overnight. Despite the enormity of this battle and an historical tendency to ‘avert ones eyes’ regarding the topic, I’ve been pleased to hear from Cypress’s employer-clients who are asking how they can implement programs and solutions to address the issue, and also impressed by the conversations I’ve had with benefits professionals about the efforts being made to take on this alarming epidemic. Every step forward counts!


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