Opioids have been making frequent appearances in news stories across the nation in recent years. The stories are generally not filled with good news and often focus on the addictive nature of the drugs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that this epidemic of opioid addiction is getting any better. With the added difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic this year, it is more imperative than ever that insurance companies tackle the topic of opioid misuse and how to prevent addictions and deaths.
From March of 2019 to March of 2020, the nation saw an increase of 9.1 percent in overall deaths from overdoses involving drugs, according to The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts page. Not only is this statistic alarming, it also raises the question of what insurance companies should be doing to help fight the opioid epidemic in the United States.
As a third-party administrator (TPA) of automobile no-fault and workers’ compensation claims, Northwood is partnering with insurance companies like yours to combat opioid misuse. Taking a proactive approach to opioids within all of your company’s claims is the right thing to do, as this can help prevent addiction and overdoses within claimants.
By partnering with Northwood on all of your claims, you can help keep your claimants safe. Northwood offers a variety of proactive measures that can help reduce the potential for misuse of opioids by claimants. For instance, Northwood implements a pre-authorization process on every single claim.
This move means that every physician prescribed service, including prescription medications such as opioids, will be reviewed before reaching the claimant. The medication will be checked for appropriateness for the claimant’s injuries, making sure that the prescription is injury related as well.
Going even further, Northwood also reviews how frequently your claimants obtain refills on their medications. In the case of opioids, this process proves to be invaluable in preventing opioid misuse. If a claimant should need an opioid prescription and attempts to refill the prescription too early or too often, Northwood’s system will catch this. The claimant will not be allowed to obtain the refill until Northwood verifies that it is a valid refill request. The process does not add significant delay to your claimants’ refill, so if it is a legitimate request your claimant will access it without added inconvenience.
The opioid epidemic must be addressed by your insurance company in order to protect your claimants and help prevent misuse, addiction and even death from overdoses. Further benefits, such as helping reduce claim costs, will be realized as well.