March 5 Webinar to Offer Health Plan, PBM Strategies to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse

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In an upcoming webinar from Atlantic Information Services, participants will hear what steps two leading insurer-owned PBM units are taking to address the expensive and dangerous problem of opioid overuse and abuse among their member populations.

Deaths related to drug overdose, including those involving prescription drugs like opioid analgesics, have steadily risen over the last 11 years, reports the CDC. Beyond the death rate, health care costs for opioid abusers average 800% of costs for non-abusers, thanks to frequent physician visits, hospital stays and other outpatient costs such as emergency room visits. To meet this national crisis, plan sponsors are developing ways to reduce costs associated with prescription drug abuse through improved drug utilization review (DUR) and other case management. But it’s complicated to ensure appropriate prescribing patterns and flag actual cases of abuse or fraud. In the March 5 webinar from Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS), “Health Plan and PBM Strategies to Curb Prescription Drug Abuse,” participants will learn strategies to appropriately identify at-risk members and utilize various modes of outreach to achieve a reduction in opioid prescriptions and related costs.

During 60 minutes of expert presentations followed by 30 minutes devoted to individual questions, participants will hear from Mark Friedlander, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer at Aetna Behavioral Health, Yrena Friedmann, Pharm.D., pharmacy director at Aetna Pharmacy Management (APM), and Michelle Juhanson, CHC, director of compliance and quality at PerformRx, LLC. They will address key questions such as:

  • What red flags exist in both medical and pharmacy data to identify members most at risk for opioid overutilization or abuse?
  • How can plans tailor their DUR programming and case management to effectively address prescription drug overuse?
  • How can plans maximize the use of Suboxone (buprenorphine HCl and naloxone HCl dehydrate) to improve outcomes for opioid-addicted patients?
  • What safety controls at the point of sale should be considered to curb opioid abuse?
  • What formulary management tactics can be effective in managing controlled substances?
  • How can plans work with physicians to ensure appropriate prescribing? What steps should be taken if inappropriate prescribing is suspected?
  • How can Part D plans use new CMS directives, such as the recently implemented Overutilization Monitoring System, to enhance their existing controlled substance DUR programs? How can these techniques be applied to their commercial or Medicaid populations?

Visit for more details and registration information.

About AIS
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at

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Shelly Beaird-Francois
Atlantic Information Services
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