Florida Blue Medicare, Prime Therapeutics Work Together to Reduce Opioid Overuse and Save Lives


Opioid registry, predictive modeling help discover at-risk Medicare members in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, drug overdose deaths increased 15% to over 107,000 Americans in 2021¹. with the overwhelming majority involving opioids, in accordance with the CDC. Florida Blue Medicare, the state’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare plan, recently announced results of a pilot program designed to assist save the lives of Medicare members and their families with access to their medications. Through a collaboration with pharmacy profit manager Prime Therapeutics, members who participated in this system took fewer opioid medications, contributing to a lower risk for addiction and more lives saved.

As a part of the pilot program, at-risk Florida Blue Medicare members were identified using predictive modeling based on member claims data and Prime’s opioid registry. This system emphasized education and safety for 2 groups, each of which had positive outcomes:

Recent opioid users consumed less, stopped earlier

Members with latest opioid prescriptions received information that described what an opioid is, how they work and how you can safely use and eliminate them, as a part of the pilot program.

  • Recent users consumed a significantly smaller quantity of opioids, using 37% fewer morphine milligram equivalents (MME) than the control group. (An MME is an opioid dosage’s equivalency to morphine and is used to assist clinicians make protected, appropriate decisions concerning opioid regimens.)
  • Recent users also voluntarily stopped using opioids at the next rate while within the study, with 29% more latest users stopping as in comparison with the control group.

Use by existing opioid users declined

Members who had an existing opioid prescription, in addition to their doctors, received information in regards to the protected use and disposal of opioids. The fabric also encouraged members to talk with a health care provider or pharmacist about naloxone, a drugs that reverses an opioid overdose in an emergency.

  • One out of 10 members within the group stopped using opioids through the follow-up period. This resulted in a 7% reduction in opioid prescriptions and a 2.8% increase in naloxone prescriptions.

Florida Blue has taken an aggressive approach to fighting the opioid crisis in Florida. Through its Opioid Task Force, launched in 2016, the corporate has set into motion various key initiatives to significantly address the problem, including working with our pharmacy partners.

“We’re committed to reducing opioid overuse by helping our members find other ways to effectively manage their pain, providing education and offering other revolutionary solutions. Prime Therapeutics has been a crucial ally on this fight,” said Cynthia Griffin, PharmD, vice chairman, Medicare pharmacy programs at Florida Blue Medicare. “The outcomes of this pilot are very encouraging. Through the use of data to create customized programs for our members, we will positively contribute towards the reduction of opioid abuse in our community and potentially save lives.”

Based on the positive results of this pilot, Florida Blue Medicare and Prime Therapeutics have plans to expand their opioid management programs to assist more members and their families.

About Florida Blue Medicare
Florida Blue Medicare is committed to helping our Florida neighbors live healthier. We provide a big selection of plan options, including Medicare Advantage plans, to provide our members what they should live their best lives and improve their overall health and well-being. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Florida Blue Medicare is built for Florida’s seniors and proud to be affiliated with Florida Blue, a health insurer that has served Floridians for over 75 years. Florida Blue and Florida Blue Medicare are Independent Licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Learn more at FloridaBlue.com/Medicare.

About Prime Therapeutics
Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) helps people get the drugs they should feel higher and live well. Prime provides total drug management solutions for health plans, employers, and government programs including Medicare and Medicaid. The corporate processes claims and offers clinical services for individuals with complex medical conditions. Prime serves nearly 33 million people. It’s collectively owned by 19 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those plans. For more information visit primetherapeutics.com or follow @Prime_PBM on Twitter.

¹ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). (May 11, 2022). (rep.). U.S. Overdose Deaths In 2021 Increased Half as Much as in 2020 – But Are Still Up 15%.  Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2022/202205.htm

SOURCE Florida Blue Medicare


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