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IBX Insights

Understanding the Epidemic: Addressing Opioid Addiction

By March 16, 2021September 2nd, 2021Community Employers Spotlight
Female counselor wears mask during session

Did you know that more than 83 percent of drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia involved an opioid in just one year? As this public health crisis continues to hit close to home, Independence Blue Cross stands committed to our members, our community, and to fighting substance use disorders through prevention, treatment, and support.

1. Prevention

With the goal of dramatically reducing the number of opioids prescribed over the next five years, we manage and monitor our members’ prescription usage and combat potential misuse of opioids by:

  • Enforcing five-day supply limits*
  • Requiring prior authorizations for prescriptions greater than 90 morphine-equivalent doses and long-acting versions of narcotics
  • Supporting point-of-sale system alerts to pharmacists
  • Promoting education and resources for patients and providers

2. Treatment

Our national network of providers includes an extensive list of substance use disorder facilities that offer various treatment levels. Independence health plans include coverage for:

  • In-network rehabilitation facilities and behavioral health providers, specialists, and therapists who treat substance use disorder
  • Medication-assisted treatments such as methadone, Vivitrol®, and medications containing buprenorphine, like Suboxone®
  • No member cost-sharing for injectable and nasal spray formulations of naloxone, such as NARCAN®

3. Support

Independence is working with our counterparts at other Blue plans to turn the tide on substance use disorder and addiction through our national initiatives:

  • Promoting education and understanding of opioid risks and supporting well-informed public policy through community engagements and partnerships
  • Fostering research that helps to create a better system of care and reduce relapse rates
  • Ensuring patient-focused care through adherence to nationally accepted, evidence-based care and treatment guidelines

Learn more about how Independence is fighting substance use disorder.

*Cumulative-day supply limit of five days per 30 days for low-dose opioids. Accessed February 12, 2020.
For all high-dose opioids, long-term use, and opioid-containing patches

IBX Insights Team

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