New Legislation, New Technologies: Addressing the Opioid Crisis

October 16, 2018

Categories: Thought Leadership


To counter our country’s opioid crisis, the government has been fighting to push the Support for Patients and Communities Act into a law, which would address the opioid epidemic by providing Medicaid recipients easier ways to receive inpatient care for substance abuse, blocking fentanyl from being imported through the mail and allowing more nurses to prescribe medication for opioid addiction.

The opioid crisis has affected millions of people worldwide. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were nearly 70,000 overdose deaths across the country in 2017. In late September, a group of bipartisan committee leaders made a statement after the House and Senate reached an agreement on the bill saying, “while there is more work to be done, this bipartisan legislation takes an important step forward and will save lives.”

To echo what the committee leaders said, we know the only way to combat this issue impacting the country is by working together to develop innovative solutions. Like the one being used in the State of Michigan, where 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

CNSI’s Sharif Hussein highlighted this breakthrough technology in a recent blog, “Making Communities Healthier: Health IT and the Opioid Addiction Crisis”, published as part of HIMSS National Health IT Week. This tool uses predictive analytics to identify patterns in our cloud-based Medicaid system that could be help identify potential addictive behavior. After that, specific medical claims are flagged for further manual review by the state’s management team and help hold irresponsible prescribers accountable.

Both this new legislation and solutions—like the one being used in Michigan—are key to helping prevent opioid addiction. Together, we are creating healthier individuals, communities, and country.