One of our favorite news sources, Behavioral Healthcare, recently reported on a white paper issued by FAIR Health, which analyzed claims from a large database of employer-sponsored health insurance plans and found a striking 3,000% increase in opioid dependence between 2007 and 2014 and steep growth trends in opioid-related diagnoses and overdose incidents as well as increases in the utilization of related treatment services. Lab tests, provider visits and other services increased from 217,000 claim entries in 2007 to about 7 million in 2014.
“The findings suggest that it may be an appropriate time for insurers to look at benefit design and to what extent that takes into account the type of treatments and services that have proven to be effective or show promise, so they can allow for a reimbursement model that will help to propel those treatments forward,” says FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd, JD.
[FAIR Health is a national, independent, nonprofit organization which provides a free database of privately billed medical and dental claims to create data products serving all healthcare stakeholders, including government officials, researchers, consumers, providers, insurers and other businesses. FAIR Health has been certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a Qualified Entity, eligible to receive all Medicare claims data for use in nationwide transparency efforts. For more information, visit www.fairhealth.org.]