CareFirst Contributes Toward Combatting Opioids

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has awarded 11 community health organizations around $2.1 million to aid in combatting the Opioid Epidemic. The grants are spread out among D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Of the $2.1 million in grants, $582,000 went to two organizations in Western Maryland, according to a CareFirst press release.

The Association for the Public Defender of Maryland (awarded $382,000) and the Western Maryland Health System Foundation (awarded $200,000) expect to use these funds to serve up to 91,000 individuals in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington.

We’re still grappling with a substance use disorder crisis nationwide and in our communities that is destroying families and ruining lives. CareFirst has committed to helping find ways to address this crisis in care by partnering with many of the community-based health clinics that are on the front lines of this battle, including in Western Maryland.

-CareFirst President & CEO Brian D. Pieninck

Along with these grants, CareFirst has also contributed in a few other ways in the past year:

  • Partnered with intensive outpatient programs that provide highly individualized treatment, including relapse prevention, coping strategies, and medication-assisted treatment;
  • Developed a Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder program through which primary care providers, nurses and behavioral health providers can refer CareFirst members with co-occurring medical and behavioral health disorders;
  • Introduced new requirements related to opioid prescription quantity and duration limits; and,
  • Enhanced its prescription drug-monitoring program to allow pharmacists to notify providers of the member’s utilization history and work with them to identify and address treatment concerns.

CareFirst‘s response to Baltimore City Hall‘s Tweet about the grants:

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is a MACo Corporate Partner.