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Opioids & Ohio’s Healthcare Payers


An Analysis of 2018 Healthcare Payer Policies for Coverage of Non-Pharmacologic Treatment as an
Alternative to Opioid Prescriptions as Recommended by Pain Treatment Guidelines



The overprescription of opioids for pain has been recognized as a key factor in the growing opioid epidemic in the United States, with Ohio among the worst states in overdose deaths. In response, state and national agencies and organizations have recommended non-pharmacologic treatments like chiropractic be used first for pain as an alternative to opioids. However, extensive barriers remain limiting access to these treatment options. Chiropractic physicians actively practicing in Ohio were questioned about coverage provided by Ohio’s largest private and public payers (Medical Mutual, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, United Healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, Workers Compensation, Veterans Administration). The results of the survey indicate Ohio’s largest healthcare payers have not improved or have only minimally improved coverage for alternatives to opioids as recommended, and coverage largely continues to favor opioids over non-pharmacologic treatments. Survey results indicate this coverage is resulting in increased use of prescription opioids and healthcare payers are therefore contributing to the ongoing opioid epidemic in Ohio.

For more in-depth background, references, data and analysis, view the following:





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