NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Amerigroup Tennessee, a statewide provider of Medicare and Medicaid managed care services, has joined forces with axialHealthcare, a national leader in pain management and pain medication solutions, to help curb the opioid epidemic in Tennessee. Together, Amerigroup and axialHealthcare will help drive opioid prescribing best practices and mitigate opioid misuse by arming Amerigroup providers with advanced analytical data, decision support tools and educational resources on evidence-based pain care. For Amerigroup Tennessee members who experience chronic pain, this new partnership includes a mobile app that tracks pain triggers, offers alternatives for managing pain and connects users to a chat function for advice from expert care teams.
“Opioid use has become an issue of national concern, and Amerigroup has made a commitment to being part of the solution by working with partners to better manage prescribing as well as facilitate early identification and treatment of addiction,” said Al B. King, president of Amerigroup Tennessee. “With the help of axialHealthcare, we are helping our providers to treat dependency more effectively and helping our members achieve a healthier, better quality of life.”
The Centers for disease Control and Prevention report that between 2000 and 2015 more than half a million people across the U.S. died from drug overdoses, and 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. In 2015, the latest year for which data is available, more than 1,450 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses that were primarily attributed to opioids, including prescription opioids. A 2016 Tennessee Department of Health annual report also indicates that more than 8.5 million opioid prescriptions were written for Tennesseans in 2015 alone.
“While opioids can be effective in treating acute pain, there is mounting evidence that opioids are less than effective in treating chronic pain—and can actually do more harm than good,” said Dr. D. Mark Mahler, Amerigroup Tennessee medical director. “Amerigroup has taken an innovative approach to addressing opioid misuse and abuse by engaging axialHealthcare to extend tools and resources to our providers and members that can effectively improve quality of care and enhance health outcomes.”
The axialHealthcare program will provide more complete patient information to providers at the point of prescribing. Physicians with six or more Amerigroup members who use prescription opioids will receive monthly reports that identify patients at risk for poor outcomes, compare their prescribing patterns to peers within their specialties, and offer decision support guidance. Evidence-based best practices will help providers determine the safest and most effective pain management solutions for their patients. Amerigroup members receiving pain management therapy will also benefit from tools that engage them in their care and tailor treatment to meet their individual needs.
“We are pleased to partner with Amerigroup Tennessee and begin offering our unique pain care capabilities to support physicians and patients while reducing opioid misuse,” said axialHealthcare Chairman and CEO John J. Donahue. “Amerigroup Tennessee and axialHealthcare are committed to improving care for patients in pain throughout Tennessee.”
About Amerigroup Tennessee
Amerigroup Tennessee helps improve health care access and quality for approximately 436,000 Tennessee residents who participate in the state’s various Medicaid programs. Amerigroup serves Tennesseans by developing and delivering innovative care management programs and services. Amerigroup Tennessee members are assured care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. It provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their health care. For more information about Amerigroup, please visit our website at www.myamerigroup.com/tn.
axialHealthcare is the leading pain medication and pain care solutions company and partners with health insurers nationwide. axialHealthcare’s pain management solutions engage physicians, pain clinics, and patients with coordinated care by applying advanced analytical insight, unmatched proven clinical evidence and highly effective consumer support. axialHealthcare’s solutions optimize pain care outcomes, reduce opioid misuse and materially improve financial performance for health benefit providers. For more information, visit axial.alphaechoagency.com.