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The nationwide opioid crisis has captured headlines month after month with discouraging statistics about the increasing number of people addicted to prescription pain killers as well as illicit opioids like heroin. Although this increased awareness has not led us to easy solutions, Medicaid managed care plans like Molina Healthcare are in a unique position to make a significant impact in the fight to reduce opioid addiction.
Molina has been researching and acting upon this issue for several years, and has developed a national Pain Safety Initiative that shares best practices across our 14 health plans. As a managed care organization serving Medicaid beneficiaries, the opioid epidemic is a priority because our members are impacted at a disproportionately high rate. According to a 2016 memo issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), “Medicaid beneficiaries are prescribed painkillers at twice the rate of non-Medicaid patients and are at three-to-six times the risk of prescription painkiller overdose.”