What's Happening

Blue Cross Plan Targets Abuse of Painkillers, Requires Counseling

May 7, 2012|Pain Management

Blue Cross in Massachusetts will be significantly limiting prescriptions of common painkillers, including Percocet and Vicodin. The insurer is making this move in part of an effort to curb abuse.

Pain patients may need to utilize alternative treatment approaches more frequently. Some health psychologists specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy approaches that teach clients to better manage pain without medication. Biofeedback training is often part of the treatment as well.

Excerpts from article:

Amid a rising sea of addictions to prescription painkillers, Massachusetts’ largest health insurer is launching a policy to curb abuse by significantly limiting the amount of pain medication most patients can receive without prior approval from the insurer.

The program by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, scheduled to start July 1, will allow patients to fill a 15-day prescription and one additional 15-day supply of the most common opioid drugs, such as Percocet and Vicodin, before the insurer hits the pause button.

Future refills will trigger a Blue Cross review and the need for assurances from the prescriber that several requirements have been met, including patient counseling about the significant risk for developing an addiction, and an agreement that subsequent prescriptions will be written only by the same physician and filled at the same pharmacy or pharmacy chain to stem so-called “doctor-shopping.’’

via Blue Cross plan targets abuse of painkillers – Health & wellness – The Boston Globe.

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