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Opioid Addiction and Overdose: Confronting the Epidemic Together

Article | August 2019

Opioid Addiction and Overdose: Confronting the Epidemic Together

Every 12 minutes, someone loses their fight with opioids and dies from overdose.1 Too many people and their families are battling addiction, but they are not alone.

Cigna is working to reduce opioid-related overdoses using a collaborative, community-based approach to improve access to care and services using appropriate interventions. We have committed to reaching a 25 percent overdose reduction in targeted communities by year-end 2021.

Together with prescribing physicians and dentists, pharmacists, advocacy groups, employers and regulators, we will continue to confront opioid addiction and overdose, and make it easier for individuals and families to get the help they need to get better and stay well. We are taking the following actions:

Predictive analytics: Cigna is using predictive analytics to identify patients who are more likely to suffer from an overdose and prompts interventions to help prevent the overdose from happening.

Expanding access to quality care: Cigna has increased the number of individual contracted behavioral health care professionals providing Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) by 40 percent since 2017 and has added 92 comprehensive MAT programs in 2019. Cigna has also launched a Substance Use Centers of Excellence program with more than 300 access points nationwide, which includes a subset of 53 locations for the treatment of opioid use disorder.2

Working with dentists: Cigna is partnering with dentists to increase awareness about the greater risk of misuse and addiction among teenagers, and safer non-opioid options to manage acute dental pain.

Helping Veterans: Working together Cigna and the Department of Veterans Affairs help educate veterans about safe opioid use and improve the delivery of care and health outcomes for veterans. Cigna’s Veterans Support Line (855-244-6211) helps veterans, families and caregivers with services and resources for pain management, substance use counseling and treatment, and more.

The First Day: Cigna is partnering with The First Day Project and Center on Addiction to bring “The First Day” film and educational resources to communities.

Pain resource hub: All consumers, health care providers and employers have access to easy-to-understand information about pain, how it manifests, how it’s treated and how to manage it safely through the Help With Pain hub.

Mother reading prescription medication label while holding baby

1 Understanding the Epidemic. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html, Page last reviewed: December 19, 2018

2 *Cigna Behavioral Health network data as of June 2019, subject to change.

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