This Just In: Your Rising Healthcare Costs Are Fueled by the Opioid Epidemic

October 16, 2016

Opioid abuse and addiction are huge problems nationwide, and as they grow so do the costs of private health insurance. A recent study by FAIR Health found that opioid-related treatment has caused a sharp rise in the cost of health insurance over the last five years.

Using a database of over 21 billion health insurance claims (so, a pretty substantial data set), FAIR Health found that the cost of medical charges to opioid patients grew from $72 million in 2011 to $722 million in 2015. That’s a 1,000% increase.

Let that number hit you for a second.

All that extra money is both because there are more opioid patients and because of the high costs of treatment. In 2015, the average cost for a patient diagnosed with opioid addiction or dependence was $16,000 greater than other kinds of claims. Addiction is complicated, and so is its care.

Conclusions: one way to fight the rising healthcare costs plaguing North Carolina is to invest in innovative measures to fight opioid abuse and dependence. The Drug Diversion program recently instituted in Wilmington (which needs it BAD) is one of them, and we hope to see more like it.

Check out the summary of the study here.

If you’re concerned about rising healthcare costs and want ideas about what to do, join us. We’ll send you news and updates about events and legislation proposals that affect YOUR healthcare costs.

Comment on This Article   

Post Your Comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Related Articles

Bundled Payments May Save Money in Healthcare
Podcast: Representative Wants Opportunities for New Healthcare Plans
Blue Cross and Blue Shield North Carolina to Cut Some Rates, Raise Others

Featured Articles

Volunteering for the Holidays Across North Carolina
SB 432 – Lots of Treats for Pharmacists – and Bad News for Consumers
Why do Pharmaceutical Companies hate PBMs so much?
Creators of Mysterious Ad Blitz Influencing Anti-Surprise Billing Law Comes to Light
Benchmarking, Not Arbitration, is the Answer to America’s Surprise Billing Problem
Podcast: Senator Joyce Krawiec Talks to Us About Why CON Laws are Bad for NC