CMS Releases Roadmap for Addressing the Opioid Crisis

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The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the opioid crisis is not slowing down. Current estimates show that over two million people suffer from opioid use disorder, with a prevalence in Medicare of six out of every 1,000 beneficiaries.

To help address this growing crisis, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released last month a roadmap outlining its three-pronged approach to combating the opioid epidemic. The roadmap focuses on the prevention of new cases of opioid use disorder, the treatment of patients who have already become dependent on or addicted to opioids, and the utilization of data from across the country to target prevention and treatment activities.

In addition to these strategies, the roadmap showcases some early successes, including the fact that CMS coverage policies now ensure some form of medication-assisted treatment across all CMS programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Exchanges.

It also highlights how CMS’s Quality Improvement Organization Program is encouraging pain management best practices to improve hospital care and how the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) is facilitating information sharing and practice reform on a large scale.

More information about the CMS Opioid Roadmap is available here.