How Partnership HealthPlan, a major insurer in California dealt with the Opioid problem, after causing it.
We continue to hear about the Opioid problem. True, it was created by medical practice and in California, and Partnership HealthPlan admits they played a large role in why it developed.
Assessing and admitting you are the cause of a huge health problem, caused by your treating health problems was not easy for them to do, but back in 2014, they decided to take action to reverse the problem.
According to Mother Jones, “Many counties where Partnership operated had among the highest rates of opioid prescribing and overdose in the state. Hydrocodone was the top-prescribed medication among Partnership patients, who include more than 570,000 Medi-Cal recipients from the vineyards of Sonoma County to the redwoods on the Oregon border. ”
The health plan decided to move people to other medications and restrict access to opioid medications. Doctors at the time were not aware of the addictive effects of these drugs, and some admitted that when a patient experienced more discomfort, they simply gave them more. One of the side effects of Opioid withdrawal is more pain.
The change brought about lower costs for the plan that financed the addition of chiropractic care since is beneficial for lower back and other painful conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic care has been a great addition to their medical practice which is part of MediCal, their Medicaid program.
You can read about it here in Mother Jones. Check it out.
Inside a Massive, Successful Effort to Stop Prescribing So Many Opioids
One medical group has figured out a way to sidestep the dangerously addictive drugs.
In 2013, leaders at Partnership HealthPlan, the main public insurance provider for Medi-Cal patients in rural Northern California, discovered an alarming trend: Many counties where Partnership operated had among the highest rates of opioid prescribing and overdose in the state. Hydrocodone was the top-prescribed medication among Partnership patients, who include more than 570,000 Medi-Cal recipients from the vineyards of Sonoma County to the redwoods on the Oregon border. In Lake County, a poor, rural area bordering Sonoma, enough opioid painkillers were prescribed in 2013 to medicate every man, woman, and child with opioids for five months, according to a report by the California Health Care Foundation.
“If people were needing more, you just prescribed more,” said Dr. Marshall Kubota, a regional medical director for the provider. “That was a recipe for disaster.”