Friday, July 27, 2018

Large Employers Seeing an Increase in Cost to Treat Worker Opioid Misuse

According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Family Foundation, large employers are currently experience a large increase in costs related to treating opioid addiction and overdoses for workers and their families. This comes despite a decrease in opioid prescriptions and overall opioid use being down. The cost of treatment is rising as well, the annual inpatient cost for opioid addiction treatment averaged $16,104 in 2016 up from $5,809 in 2006. "About four in ten people addicted to opioids are covered by private health insurance and Medicaid covers a similarly large share. Despite declining rates of opioid prescribing to those with employer coverage, spending on treatment for opioid addiction and overdose has increased rapidly, potentially tied to growing illicit use and increased awareness of opioid addiction. Opioid addiction and overdose treatment – the bulk of which is for dependents of employees – represents a small but growing share of overall employer health spending," the study states. Read the full study HERE.