New HHS Secretary is Focused on Opioids Crisis, You Should Be Too

Prescription Medicine

A recent study by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) revealed that 80 percent of large employers are concerned about employees’ abuse of prescription opioids. The government is concerned, too. With about 91 Americans dying from a prescription opioid overdose every day, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a public health emergency in October 2017. Tackling the opioid crisis is a top concern for the new HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Employers across the country are working to curb the misuse of prescription opioids. With more employees falling victim to addiction, employers are seeing lower productivity, higher health care costs and fewer qualified applicants.

Employers need to do everything possible to combat the impact opioids have in the workplace. Exploring new initiatives can help you develop your own strategy to best suit the needs of your employees. The NBGH’s survey revealed that the following five initiatives are the most common among employers across the country:

  1. Provide opioid abuse training in the workplace to increase awareness.
  2. Work with health plans to encourage physicians to consider alternative treatment for pain.
  3. Expand coverage for pain management alternatives.
  4. Limit coverage of opioids to a network of pharmacies or providers.
  5. Limit the number of opioids on initial prescriptions.

For more information on what you can do about opioid abuse, contact us today