Published February 07, 2019
Approach includes pharmacy policy and informational campaigns for the public, dental health professionals and UnitedHealthcare dental plan participants
Oral health professionals write 12 percent of all opioid prescriptions, including 45 percent of opioid prescriptions for adolescents1 – an age group especially vulnerable to addiction
Efforts part of UnitedHealthcare's comprehensive approach to confronting the opioid epidemic, which causes more than 130 overdose deaths2 in the United States each day
UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, has introduced oral health strategies to confront the opioid epidemic, building on a companywide approach to address the epidemic from all angles. The oral health approaches include:
"Oral health is an important facet in the fight against the opioid epidemic and in helping reduce the misuse of these drugs, which is why UnitedHealthcare has introduced these programs," said Tom Wiffler, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits. "Working together, we can help address this important national public health issue."
The economic cost from the opioid epidemic exceeds $500 billion annually, according to a study from The Council of Economic Advisors.
UnitedHealthcare is also collaborating with health care providers and communities, and using powerful data and analytics to prevent opioid misuse and addiction, tailor ways to treat people who are addicted and support long-term recovery.
More information about UnitedHealthcare's efforts to address the opioid epidemic is available here.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.
1 UnitedHealthcare pharmacy claims analysis representing more than 4 million claims, 2018
2 CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality. CDC Wonder, Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2018. https://wonder.cdc.gov.
3 UnitedHealthcare pharmacy claims analysis representing more than 4 million claims, 2018