Denver, CO – Concordia Care, Inc., a certified Managed Behavioral Health Organization, and Cordant Health Solutions™, a medical monitoring and controlled pharmacy healthcare company, recently announced a partnership to identify patients with a higher potential for medication risk, improve testing regimens, support outcomes for injured workers, and lower costs.
Concern over opioid abuse by injured workers continues to grow. By one government estimate, 17,536 Americans died in 2015 from overdoses involving prescription and illicit opioids. And in 2016, the Workers Compensation Research Institute found that 55 to 85 percent of injured workers who missed seven days or more of work in 2016 received at least one opioid prescription. Physicians are and should be drug testing injured workers. However, as drug testing becomes more frequent, morphine equivalent dosage (MED) levels and prescription costs both increase, resulting in full drug panels that can now cost more than $5,000.
To address this growing problem in the worker’s compensation industry, Concordia will begin utilizing Cordant’s Medication Monitoring Program, which provides drug testing based on risk stratification for injured worker claimants receiving behavioral health services, to identify patients who are prescribed medications at MED levels and durations that, according to clinical studies, increase the patient’s likelihood for risk of abuse or misuse or possible drug interactions. The program also targets patients with a known propensity for abuse or misuse. Cordant’s program has been shown to measurably reduce prescription and testing costs as well as the cumulative levels of opioids claimants take on their path to wellness.
“We look forward to collaborating with Concordia to increase the rate of returning injured workers to work. Our program not only helps healthcare providers identify appropriate treatment, it also monitors high-risk, injured workers’ compliance with their prescription treatment plan. We’ve seen a 26 percent reduction in MED levels and a 20 percent reduction in pharmacy costs for monitored injured workers. We are shining a light on potential scenarios of misuse that may indicate the presence of bio-psychosocial issues that require a more focused intervention,” said Sue Sommer, President and CEO of Cordant.
“Concordia believes cost containment must never compromise the quality of behavioral health treatment. That is why we continuously review and improve every aspect of service, streamlining claims and authorization processes for optimal results. Historically, addressing the root cause of prescription misuse or abuse has been a side note of the claims management process, with growing awareness that this needs to change,” said Joe Berardo, CEO of Concordia. “With so much recent attention on the national opioid epidemic and the toll addiction has on recovery, our collaboration with Cordant offers a unique solution of targeted intervention to achieve better patient outcomes.”
Cordant’s unique workers’ compensation drug testing program aligns with Concordia’s mission to improve the lives of the people it serves through patient-centered care coordination. Concordia will utilize Cordant testing results to facilitate individualized care plans with healthcare professionals, patients and payers to ensure timely patient-specific outcomes that are responsive, safe, cost-effective and delivered in a compassionate manner.