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opioid-managementIt is possible that 2015 will be the year remembered as the turning point in addressing the opioid and narcotic epidemic in the United Sates. This year, almost every conference, publication and industry expert has addressed the topic. Just last month, Jim Harvey of Sedgwick blogged about this pressing societal issue: Opioid medications: Gateways to heroin use? Yet even with all the information available, it is still difficult to know where to start being proactive and creating appropriate intervention approaches.

At Sedgwick, our commitment to good healthcare stewardship goes beyond the day-to-day responsibilities involved in ensuring injured employees recover and return to work. Our partnership and ongoing collaboration with providers is invaluable in aiding our goal to provide personalized, quality healthcare for every injured employee. Sedgwick was the first third party administrator (TPA) to host forums for medical providers focused on technical efficiencies, treatment, productivity and patient satisfaction trends, and future enhancements. We ask leaders in the medical treatment community how we can work better together to improve treatments and outcomes for patients.

We have hosted meetings for medical directors in California for the past four years and we are looking forward to hosting our first event in Orlando on August 23. This meeting is the first of its kind in Florida and it will take place during the 2015 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference.

The rich depth of our client base puts us in the unique position of having a vast amount of accurate, actionable and outcomes-based data, organized in a manner to help providers identify trends more efficiently. Recently, a University of Kentucky study on opioid addiction and narcotics revealed that only 26% of healthcare providers felt they had adequate training or knowledge to recognize, manage and prevent prescription drug misuse. To respond to these concerns and to address current trends, we plan to share what Sedgwick is doing to help manage misuse and discuss the signs our pharmacists see. Most importantly, this meeting is geared to collaboratively identify data and resources that medical directors and healthcare providers need the most.

These meetings allow us to work together to change the future of workers’ compensation by discussing solutions that can improve the overall quality of care for injured and ill employees, while supporting the efforts of the medical community.

We encourage medical directors to attend this event and look forward to exchanging ideas. Click to register by August 19; space is limited to only 40 qualified participants. Please send us your questions or thoughts in the comments section.

Tracey Radford, RN, MBA, ARM, CPDM, VP Managed Care Client Services

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