Blue Cross Blue Shield Issues Key Report on Opiate Crisis and Commercial Payors

06/30/2017 - ATIN- Blue Cross Blue Shield today issued a key report on the opiate addiction crisis, plumbing data from its vast non-profit healthcare insurance network to throw new light on a drug abuse health crisis the New York Times recently estimated might reach 60K fatalities this year, many times the level of just a few years ago. The report fills a major information gap, focusing on the opiate abuse epidemic and its effect on big, wholesale commercial health insurers like Blue Cross itself.

One of the key pieces of news to come out of the study, The Opioid Crisis and its Effect on the Nation's Commercially Insured, is that Blue Cross now says that nearly 1 percent of its membership, or 300K of its insured, are suffering from an 'opioid use disorder'. And while rates of diagnosed opiate addiction skyrocketed five-fold 2010 thru 2015, use of medication assisted therapies like buprenorphine by addiction treatment providers lags tremendously, rising only 65 percent in the period.

In a particularly alarming revelation, Blue Cross found that in the two-year period 2014-16 the rate of opiate addiction in its membership jumped very steeply , rising to nearly 8.5 per 1,000 members from nearly 3 per 1,000.

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