WEA Trust: Battles opiate epidemic
Contact: Laura Taylor
Local Insurance Company Reduces Opiate Prescriptions in Only Five Months
Madison, Wisconsin In July, WEA Trust, a not-for-profit insurance company, introduced an opiate utilization management program for their membership. The program focuses on members who are prescribed an opiate but have not taken the medication before. About 10% of people who have not previously had opiates will develop chronic opiate use. WEA limits opiate quantities to ensure safe use, as well as collaborate with providers to ultimately prevent addiction.
If the opiate is paid for by insurance, insurers know exactly what opiates are being picked up at the pharmacy, said Dr. Tim Bartholow, WEA Trust Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. We believe that all insurers have an imperative to help avoid unintended chronic use and addiction, in concert with the extraordinary efforts of our partner pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and dentists.
In the first five months since WEA Trust introduced their opiate utilization management program, they have seen a 27% decrease in opiate prescriptions, or a reduction of over 91,000 pills. This reduction avoids the risks of chronic use and addiction and allows members to first try safer treatment options while also helping employers create substance free workplaces.