It’s no secret that opioid addiction is a problem in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Kentucky is third in drug overdose deaths and writes the fourth most prescriptions for opioids in the nation. Nearly half of all Kentuckians who enter treatment for substance abuse do so for opioid misuse – the eighth highest proportion in the U.S. Earlier this year, Louisville made national headlines when a shocking 151 overdoses occurred in just four days.
Addressing addiction is such a priority for the KHC that our annual conference in March will focus on connecting behavioral and physical health, including addiction treatment strategies. We have recently added Initiation and Engagement of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence Treatment (IET) to our yearly reports to reflect that focus. As a multi-stakeholder coalition, our members’ time and time again have identified mental health and opioid abuse as priorities for their organizations. Public health professionals, employers, providers, plans, and citizens are all reeling from this opioid epidemic and are anxious to work together to find solutions.
As another effort to address Kentucky’s – and the nation’s – opioid use crisis, I am pleased to share that the KHC has been selected to be part of a 40-member opioid action team that will identify strategies and tactics for opioid addiction prevention and collaborate to accelerate and amplify current efforts going on across the country.
National Quality Partners (NQP) Opioid Stewardship Action Team, a program by the National Quality Forum, will ultimately publish a playbook that focuses on improving prescribing practices and identifying strategies and tactics for managing care of individuals who are at high risk of becoming dependent on opioids, while building on current public- and private-sector efforts to address the opioid epidemic. The playbook will be released in March 2018. NQP will model the Playbook after other successful efforts to tackle national healthcare priorities, including National Quality Partner’s Playbook: Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care, which has become an essential resource to help physicians, pharmacists, and healthcare organizations implement strategies to promote the appropriate and safe use of antibiotics. That playbook has been downloaded more than 30,000 times.
I will represent KHC on this Action Team, and I will join individuals from organizations across the country, many of which have launched innovative programs to address the opioid crisis. The Action Team is chaired by Christina Mikosz, MD, MPH, Medical Officer at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Paul Conlon, PharmD, JD, Senior Vice President, Chief Quality and Patient Safety, Trinity Health.
For more information on the NQP Opioid Stewardship Action Team, click here. The following organizations have representatives on the Action Team:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Nurses Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
BlueCross BlueShield Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Council of Medical Specialty Societies
Dental Quality Alliance
Harborview Medical Center
Health Resources and Services Administration
Henry Ford Hospital
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Hospital Corporation of America
IBM Watson Health
Institute for Behavioral Healthcare Improvement
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Kentuckiana Health Collaborative
Magellan Health, Inc.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Partners Behavioral Health Management
Patient & Family Centered Care Partners, Inc.
Pharmacy Quality Alliance
Premier Healthcare Alliance
Press Ganey Associates
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention
Veterans Health Administration