As health care professionals across the country continue to battle the opioid epidemic, KeyScripts is also working to fight the issue. In addition to checking for duplication of therapy, multiple prescribers and utilization of multiple pharmacies KeyScripts offers a drug test program to promote appropriate use and deter misuse of the opioids prescribed to them.
As part of this program our PBM raw data is analyzed to identify people who meet certain clinical criteria which have historically led to safety concerns, misuse or abuse of medications. While the criteria may vary between our customers we suggest identifying and flagging those who have been on opioids for three months or more and those taking a daily morphine equivalent dose of 100 milligrams of morphine or more.
That threshold is significant because it has been shown that patients taking more than 100 milligrams of morphine have a nine times greater chance of death caused by an overdose.
Once a claim is flagged as meeting the predetermined criteria KeyScripts provides that information to the adjuster who can then further investigate the situation.
Some of our customers elect to send letters out to both provider and injured worker warning them about the dangers associated with opioids and emphasize the importance of adherence to the prescribed dosing schedule and medication regimen. KeyScripts recommends and offers automated drug test scheduling for all claims flagged subsequent to the data analysis in accordance with multiple guideline recommendations.
The drug test is key in determining whether the injured worker is taking their prescription properly. If it was found that the patient was not taking their prescription, an alternative method of pain relief should be considered and the drug test is a great way to initiate that conversation. If a drug is being misused or abused, or if illegal substances are identified it is important for the provider to work with the injured worker to provide them the help they need which may include tapering or weaning off the opioid.
One of the more commonly abused drugs currently showing up on drug tests is heroin, which is indicative of another major issue. Find out why the opioid epidemic is feeding into the current heroin problem in the U.S. in the next KeyScripts blog post.