Opioid abuse statistics in Michigan are frightening: Deaths resulting from prescription drug abuse statewide is 20 percent higher than the U.S. average. In addition, nearly 40 percent of the opioids prescribed by surgeons are done so without clear guidelines for pain management. To help fight the opioid epidemic in Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is working with the University of Michigan in their initiative to cut both opioid prescriptions and recurring opioid use post-surgery by 50 percent. Blue Cross will connect 11 of its Collaborative Quality Initiatives (CQIs) to the University of Michigan’s Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan-OPEN). Michigan-OPEN helps medical teams across the state manage patients’ pain without putting them at risk for future opioid misuse or addiction. While many of Blue Cross’ CQIs have already been working to address opioid addiction, this is the latest step to continue the fight. New interventions will be implemented at CQI groups such as prostate cancer, cardiac surgery and total knee and hip replacements. The CQIs will assist Michigan-OPEN with data collection, best practices and circulation. As a result, this partnership will transform statewide practices, drastically reducing unnecessary opioid use. Funding for the initiative comes from a new $1.4 million per year, five-year grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and equal funding from U-M.
For more about the current opioid epidemic in Michigan, see the following blogs:
- Beyond Numbers: Michigan’s Prescription Opioid Problem Deserves Attention
- The Safe Way to Take Prescription Opioid Pain Medications
- Danger in the Medicine Cabinet: Rethinking Prescription Opioids
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