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    Much attention has been given to the coronavirus pandemic over the last year and a half. While this is crucial, there is still another ongoing epidemic in the United States: opioid usage. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred from June 2019 to May 2020. Over 45,000 of those deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids alone.

    Focusing on the global coronavirus pandemic is important, but it is equally important not to lose sight of the epidemic centering around opioid usage and overdoses. Any life lost to addiction is a tragedy and one that Northwood is committed to helping prevent as much as possible.

    As an insurance company working with workers’ compensation and automobile no-fault claims, you are likely informed about the latest updates on opioid usage. It is critical that your claims department carves out time to ensure that opioid misuse or abuse is eliminated, to the best of your company’s ability.

    This can be incredibly time-consuming. Since it is such important work, it is critical to prioritize it. Northwood is able to help your company in this respect. As a third-party administrator (TPA) of work comp and auto no-fault claims, Northwood is experienced in assisting insurance companies and their claims department staff members.

    One way that Northwood is doing its part to help tackle the opioid epidemic is by implementing a few processes and procedures within all of the claims it administers. For example, there are still instances where an opioid may be prescribed for a claimant suffering from extremely painful injuries after a car accident or while on the job.

    As part of its regular work on behalf of the insurance companies Northwood partners with, Northwood will review each prescription before approving it for the claimant. This pre-authorization includes reviewing whether the prescription is injury-related and is necessary and appropriate for the particular claimant.

    Prescription monitoring is another tool used by Northwood to help deter opioid misuse. In the case of opioids, Northwood would flag an opioid refill request if it occurred too often or too soon. This step is done without causing lengthy delays for your claimants, so it benefits them in many ways without sacrificing convenience or adding frustrations for them when the prescription refill request is legitimate. This step also saves time for your adjusters and examiners since they can rely on Northwood for monitoring of prescriptions and refills such as this.

    Northwood is able to work with your insurance company on all work comp and auto no-fault claims in a way that will help reduce the chances of opioid misuse in claimants. Please call Rosanne Brugnoni at 586-755-3830 ext. 3771 for a review of ways that your company can increase measures to combat the opioid epidemic.


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