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Addressing Substance Use with Your Patients

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:

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