Healthcare Payer Strategies to Reduce the Harms of Opioidsedit
Prescription opioid misuse and opioid use disorder (OUD) are significant and growing public health problems in the United States (U.S.) that impact stakeholders across the healthcare sector, including private, employer-sponsored, and public health plans. Payers can help to combat the opioid crisis by identifying and sharing strategies, such as reimbursement and coverage policies, conditions for provider plan participation, and dissemination of information to a variety of audiences, to address the large-ranging issues that lead to fraud, waste, and abuse in the healthcare system. Through coordinated action, payers, including members of the HFPP, have the opportunity to dramatically influence and reduce opioid misuse in the U.S. Simple actions performed systematically across a large group of stakeholders can considerably decrease the toll of prescription opioid misuse and OUD in the U.S. This White Paper describes effective and widely accepted payer strategies to reduce inappropriate opioid prescribing as well as reduce the unintended harms of prescription opioids when they are prescribed for medical use.