8 Ways Doctors Can Address the Opioid Epidemic (Managed Healthcare Executive)

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[By Karen Appold]

With addiction to opioids and other pain-relieving medications reaching record levels in the United States, at 2 million in 2015—according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, it’s important for providers to employ strategies to avert dependence. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids, the CDC reported. Here’s a look at what healthcare providers are doing to decrease dependence.

1. Pick a pain management quarterback

With the burden of coordination for pain care management following inpatient procedures such as orthopedic surgery typically falling on the surgeon, it’s important to carefully coordinate a patient’s narcotic prescriptions with the primary care physician, says Greg Sullivan, MD, who is board-certified in internal medicine and addiction medicine. “Prescription monitoring of every patient for six months after discharge is particularly important, in that post-discharge, patients are often seen for follow-up by multiple providers, with overlapping prescriptions for narcotics quite common,” he says. “It’s best to pick a… View Full Article Here

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