Health Insurers in Massachusetts Use New Measures to Address Opioid Crisis

Health insurance companies in Massachusetts are trying new ways to address the opioid crisis. Some are imposing restrictions on prescriptions for OxyContin, Vicodin and other painkillers, while others are calling and visiting members being treated for addiction.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts put limits on opioid prescriptions three years ago. It is now contacting members who are in detox programs to help coordinate their care and prevent relapses, The Boston Globe reports. Staff members at Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan call and visit members being treated for addiction to help them locate and stick with treatments.

Neighborhood Health Plan has partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital to hire a recovery coach to help members diagnosed with a substance use disorder. “If we’re able to learn that attaching someone to a recovery coach early reduces recidivism, it would easily be worth the investment,” said Neighborhood’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Paul Mendis.

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Will Savage

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