Skip to main content

Addressing Substance Use with Your Patients

Date:
May 26, 2022

To: Primary Care Providers

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rising rates of substance use disorder (SUD) across the United States. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there were more than 99,000 alcohol-related deaths in 2020, accounting for a 25% increase from 2019. In November 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States from April 2020 to April 2021, an increase of almost 29% from the same time period during the previous year.

We encourage you to speak to your patients about alcohol and drug use and provide screenings. Our data shows that total SUD outpatient visits decreased 14% from 2020 to 2021, while detox admissions increased 9%. These trends indicate that fewer patients are seeking outpatient SUD treatment, leading to a potential increase in the need for inpatient detox care.

Screening and early intervention are key to preventing worsening substance use conditions and associated health complications. For someone struggling with substance use, a doctor or clinician may be able to intervene in the most impactful and meaningful way.

We reimburse for screenings, brief interventions, and referrals to treatment (SBIRT). For more information, click here.

For Providers in Value-based Reimbursement Programs

As a reminder, suboxone treatment will be paid as fee-for-service for providers in value-based reimbursement programs.

Behavioral Health Care Management Programs

Our specialized team of licensed behavioral health clinicians can offer support and care management to your patients with SUD. Please call 1-877-878-8785 (option 2) to refer your patients to our care management program.

For additional information, please click the links below:

Recent Articles

  • Right Start Prenatal Program Transition for 2023
    Beginning January 1, 2023, Right Start prenatal and home visiting programs for high-risk pregnancies will no longer be continuing for your Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York patients. Your Highmark BSNENY patients that are enrolled in Right Start and still need support into 2023 will be transitioned into our High-Risk Maternity Specialty Case Management program.
  • Improving Patient Satisfaction with CAHPS and HOS Surveys
    The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) and Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) are patient surveys that affect CMS star ratings – for you and for us. Improving patient experience leads to better health outcomes for your patients and helps support gap closure programs. In this article, you can find tips to help your office improve patient satisfaction, as well as additional information about these surveys.
  • Reminder: Working with BetterDoctor
    Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York partnered with BetterDoctor in 2020 to help keep our network provider information current. As part of our network, you can expect to receive emails from BetterDoctor and should not hesitate to respond to their outreach.
  • Congratulations to New York State HPV Vaccination Honor Roll Award Winners
    We want to congratulate several provider offices for achieving superior youth human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination completion rates in their practice. Despite strong education efforts, youth HPV vaccination rates continue to remain low. According to the NYS HPV Coalition, at least 30% of adolescents in New York State are not fully vaccinated against HPV. Here, you can view the winners and find additional information about HPV vaccination.
  • Diabetes Prevention Program for Medicare Advantage Patients - 2022
    As a reminder, the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (M-DPP) is a no-cost program to help your Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York Medicare Advantage patients with prediabetes manage their condition. This evidence-based, CDC-recognized program helps educate and offer support for older adults diagnosed with prediabetes or who are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. In this article, you can learn more about the program and refer your eligible patients.

Working with Us

Additional Resources

We want to hear from you! Have a topic request for the next Blue Bulletin? Email us

Stay in Touch! Sign up to receive emails for provider news and information