Baton Rouge, LA – Over 20,000 Medicare Set-Asides (MSAs) are submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) every year. A recent California Workers’ Compensation Institute study showed that 69.4 percent of the MSAs it reviewed allocated funds for opioids, despite evidence-based guidelines that indicate that opioids are not appropriate for long-term use or chronic pain. The National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals (NAMSAP) and the National Council of Self-Insurers (NCSI) have joined forces to address the MSA’s role in perpetuating the opioid epidemic.
NAMSAP officers shared the organization’s efforts to reduce opioid use in MSAs at the recent NCSI 2018 Annual Meeting. “The Intersection of Policy and Public Health” was presented by NAMSAP President Rita Wilson, CEO of Tower MSA Partners; Gary Patureau, executive director of the Louisiana Association of Self Insured Employers and a former NAMSAP president; and the organization’s Vice President Amy Bilton, a shareholder in the law firm of Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie, and Lowry.
“CMS’s review policy for WCMSAs requires the allocation of potentially addictive opioids over the beneficiary’s full life expectancy at the same dosage and frequency as was prescribed during the previous 6 to 12 months. This is inconsistent with its own Medicare Part D guidelines,” Wilson said. “And it is contrary to all evidence-based guidelines, including those produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
NAMSAP is calling for limits on opioids in MSAs through an ongoing public awareness campaign. Its members have conducted media interviews, met with key CMS and other government officials, and sent a letter to every member of Congress that describes the problem and recommends solutions.
Source: NAMSAP/King Knight