Opioid use disorder diagnoses for BCBS members sees nearly 500% increase since 2010

From 2010 through 2016, the number of Blue Cross and Blue Shield members diagnosed with opioid use disorder increased by 493 percent, according to a new study conducted by the BCBS Association

The study, entitled "America's Opioid Epidemic and Its Effect on the Nation's Commercially Insured Population," represents a comprehensive assessment of BCBS medical claims from members using opioids and members diagnosed with opioid use disorder. Researchers also found 21 percent of BCBS members filled at least one opioid prescription in 2015, and members who filled high dosage opioid prescription had higher rates of opioid use disorder.

"Opioid use disorder is a complex issue, and there is no single approach to solving it," said Trent Haywood, MD, senior vice president and CMO for BCBSA, in an emailed release. "It will take a collaborative effort among medical professionals, insurers, employers, communities and all levels of government working together to develop solutions that effectively meet community needs."

More articles on opioids: 
Ohio city council member suggests withholding emergency care for those who repeatedly overdose on opioids 
Medicaid-covered prescriptions for opioid addiction and overdoses surge by 136% in 5 years 
Synthetic opioid residue poses public health risk, say Georgia police


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