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Health Plan Performance Improvement Project: Reducing Chronic Opioid Use

Seven Minnesota health plans are collaborating on a project to reduce the rate of chronic opioid use among the State Public Programs population in Minnesota. The health plans participating in this project are Blue Plus, HealthPartners, Hennepin Health, Medica, PrimeWest Health System, South Country Health Alliance, and UCare.

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has identified 45 days of opioid use as a critical timeline for patients prescribed opioids, as continued use beyond 45 days can result in long-term/chronic use or addiction. This project, begun in 2018, will work to decrease the number of PMAP, SNBC, MSHO, and MSC+ members who reach that 45-day threshold by providing clinician, member, and community education and resources to understand best practice in opioid prescribing, potential alternative therapies, and safe disposal options.

Provider toolkit

A Provider Toolkit: Meeting the Challenges of Opioids and Pain. Resources include patient education on pain and opioid prescriptions, addressing opioid prescription practices, identifying safe and effective pain management protocols, and nonpharmacologic and non-opioid pharmacotherapy alternatives. (28-page PDF)


Alternative Pain Management Therapies - Minnesota Medicaid Benefit Coverage. This grid may assist clinicians in determining therapy options that may be covered and therapy options not covered by Medicaid in Minnesota. (4-page pdf)

Upcoming webinars

No upcoming webinars at this time.

Previous webinars

How Pharmacists are Working to Address the Opioid Crisis. May 16, 2019. Pharmacists may work in a variety of practice settings, but all have directly seen the impact of the opioid crisis first-hand. This webinar will provide an overview of pharmacist perspectives of the opioid crisis from the viewpoint of different practice settings, and will discuss initiatives or strategies that have been implemented in order to address one common problem. Presenter is Erika Bower, PharmD, BCACP, clinical pharmacist at UCare. (49-minute webinar), slides (19-page PDF)

Alternatives to Opioids. January 14, 2019. While prescription opioid pain medication can be effective for treating certain types of pain, there are other options available that can address pain as well. For many conditions and injuries, experiencing pain is a normal part of the healing process, and finding ways to manage pain without reliance on opioids is important. This webinar provides an overview of therapies that are commonly used as an alternative to opioid medications. Understanding what options may be available to treat pain can help professionals support patients and clients through their healing journey. Speaker is Isaac Marsolek, MD. (61-minute webinar), slides (23-page PDF)

Opioids and Behavioral Health. November 13, 2018. For some people who take opioids and have a mental health condition, there can be increased risk for opioid misuse. This webinar discusses the intersection of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and mental health issues; and the role that social determinants of health play in both areas. Speaker is Jessie Everts, PhD, LMFT. (62-minute webinar), slides (14-page PDF)

Tools and Information for Care Coordinators. August 2, 2018. Speakers: Dr. Stacey Ballard, Senior Medical Director, Medica, and Ruth Boubin, MA, Opiate Case Management Program and Restricted Recipient Case Manager, South Country Health Alliance. This recording includes a Q&A session. (102-minute webinar), slides (50-page PDF)

Meeting the Challenges of Opioids and PAIN. June 21, 2018. Brad Johnson, MD, medical director, South Country Health Alliance, and Patty Graham, senior quality consultant, HealthPartners, introduced two new resources to help address the surge in opioid use and misuse in clinical practice: Minnesota Opioid Prescribing Guidelines and the Provider Toolkit. (53-minute webinar), slides (16-page PDF)

Contact information

For more information on how your organization and Stratis Health can work together, please contact Jane McGrath, program manager, 952-853-8551.