Over 70 organizations representing physicians, hospitals, insurers, drug and device manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, employers and patients among others have released first-of-their-kind comprehensive recommendations aimed at addressing the escalating opioid crisis in the United States.
The “Roadmap for Action” gives clear guidance to health care leaders, lawmakers, and regulators on comprehensive approaches to stemming the crisis, which has led to an average of more than 115 people in America dying every day from opioid addiction.The organizations, convened by the health care Leadership Council, have been in communication for several months, building consensus on specific opioid-related recommended actions for Congress, federal regulators, and the health care industry. The group worked with the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, led by former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Dr. Mark McClellan, in developing the Roadmap.
Among its recommendations, the Roadmap calls for improved patient access to evidence-based, non-opioid, non-pharmacological, opioid-sparing pain management therapies; adoption of e-prescribing for all controlled substances by 2020; a system that provides real-time prescribing data on a national basis to aid health care decision making; and improved opioid stewardship and disposal.
The Roadmap identifies five overarching priorities as essential to reversing trends in opioid abuse:
- improving approaches to pain management;
- preventing opioid misuse;
- expanding access to substance use disorder treatment services;
- increased use of care coordination through data; and
- paying for care that is coordinated and high-quality.
Among other recommendations advocated by the organizations are pharmacogenetic testing to assess an individual’s risk for opioid misuse, expanded use of telehealth to facilitate access to care in rural and underserved communities, and the creation of an Opioid Learning Action Network through which health care leaders could share best practices and develop innovative care models.
To read the full Roadmap for Action and all of its recommendations, or to learn more about the organizations involved in its development, visit https://www.hlc.org/app/uploads/2018/06/Opioid-Roadmap-FINAL.pdf