At the Helm

Confront the opioid epidemic with these 2 brand new resources

by Rob Lazerow and Gillian Michaelson

Hospitals and health systems nationwide are experiencing the damaging effects of the opioid epidemic on a daily basis. Emergency departments and inpatient beds have been flooded with those suffering the devastating consequences of opioid abuse and addiction.

Use our Opioid Population Profiler to prioritize your strategic response to the opioid crisis

As a result, organizations have both a public health imperative and a clear financial urgency to address the epidemic. A significant portion of opioid-related health care costs are avoidable ED visits or ICU admissions, particularly within the Medicaid population. Health systems stand at the front lines of treatment for this care and bear much of the financial burden, especially as operating cost have all too often increased without a corresponding increase in reimbursement.

Recognizing these realities, hospital and health system executives need to play a major role in addressing this national and local crisis—but the vast and multi-faceted nature of the epidemic can often leave executives feeling overwhelmed and unsure of the best path forward.

Fortunately, you don't have to do this alone. Advisory Board has two brand new resources designed to help hospitals and health systems develop a comprehensive and proactive strategy to combat the opioid crisis:

  • A research report featuring nine imperatives that help health care executives understand their role in confronting the epidemic
  • An analytical tool, which we developed in partnership with OptumLabs, a scientific research collaborative and co-innovation center supported by over 25 different partnerships with leading health care organizations

Leaders should use the research report to learn the comprehensive approach they need to successfully prevent new cases of opioid addiction and maximize opportunities to expand access to opioid addiction treatment. The briefing includes specific examples of best practices from organizations around the country, such as systems establishing opioid crisis as system-level priority and harnessing existing clinical care standardization strategies to improve prescribing behaviors.

Next, executives should explore our new analytical tool to prioritize potential opioid interventions based on the areas of greatest clinical need within their region. Our new tool offers a clear assessment of the opioid crisis through expert-selected key performance indicators (KPIs), organized into four domains:

  • Prevention
  • Pain management
  • Opioid use disorder treatment
  • Maternal, infant, and child health

The tool is pre-populated with OptumLabs data to allow you to see your market's current performance across the KPIs, and your region's clinical areas of greatest opportunity for improvement. These performance metrics will help pinpoint where to focus efforts and assess the success of ongoing interventions.

We will continue to conduct and publish additional research to help hospitals and health systems learn new and effective strategies to combat the opioid crisis.

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Develop a comprehensive opioid response strategy

Join us for a webconference on April 30 for a deep dive on the Advisory Board and OptumLabs' Opioid Population Profiler.

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