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    3 New Initiatives Target Opioid Crisis

    The opioid crisis is still getting worse—so what's being done about it?


    Kentucky Takes Aim at Those at Risk

    WellCare, Kentucky’s Medicaid insurer, completed a 6-month pilot program of 1,300 participants who were at-risk for opioid misuse or abuse in October. The program resulted in a 50% reduction in opioid dispensing in situations of potential abuse and 35% and 30% decreases in dispensing of a cyclobenzaprines and benzodiazepines, respectively. Kentucky ranks third in opioid addiction in the country.

    WellCare paired participants with one provider, one pharmacist, and a care manager specializing in substance abuse treatment who also provided social and other support services.

    Howard Shaps, MD, WellCare’s Senior Medical Director, says the use of care managers who focus on social issues related to opioid abuse is a key feature of the program.

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    Mari Edlin
    Mari Edlin is a freelance writer based in Sonoma, California.


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