Photo by Jessica Kuhn/FlickrCC

By Meg Bryant/HealthCare Dive

The opioid crisis is raging, with no signs of a slow down.

Between 2000 and 2015, the rate of opioid-related deaths jumped from 3 per 100,000 to more than 10 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid-related deaths in 2015 alone climbed to over 33,000. The cost to the U.S. healthcare system is equally staggering. From 2007 to 2014, medical procedures or services listed on an insurance claim for privately insured Americans with an opioid dependence diagnosis shot up 3,203%, according to a Fair Health white paper.

President Trump promised to spend what it takes to end the opioid crisis, but his administration’s actions since taking office have not been reassuring.

Under President Obama, efforts were stepped up to tackle the epidemic and devise an aggressive national strategy.

Last summer, Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to increase naloxone availability and boost prescription drug monitoring programs. The White House also announced initiatives aimed at mitigating the epidemic, including an effort to encourage safe pain management, which will ease hospitals’ concerns about HCAHPS survey pain management questions that impact hospital scores.

And in March of last year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it was targeting $94 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 271 U.S. health centers to help address prescription opioid and heroin misuse, particularly in underserved populations. To cut down on misuse of opioids, the CDC released guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

On the campaign trail, President Trump promised to spend what it takes to end the opioid crisis, but his administration’s actions — or lack thereof — since taking office have not been reassuring…

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