KHC Selected for National Opioid Stewardship Action Team

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It’s no secret that opioid addiction is a problem in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Kentucky is third in drug overdose deaths and writes the fourth most prescriptions for opioids in the nation. Nearly half of all Kentuckians who enter treatment for substance abuse do so for opioid misuse – the eighth highest proportion in the U.S. Earlier this year, Louisville made national headlines when a shocking 151 overdoses occurred in just four days.

Addressing addiction is such a priority for the KHC that our annual conference in March will focus on connecting behavioral and physical health, including addiction treatment strategies. We have recently added Initiation and Engagement of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence Treatment (IET) to our yearly reports to reflect that focus. As a multi-stakeholder coalition, our members’ time and time again have identified mental health and opioid abuse as priorities for their organizations. Public health professionals, employers, providers, plans, and citizens are all reeling from this opioid epidemic and are anxious to work together to find solutions.

As another effort to address Kentucky’s – and the nation’s – opioid use crisis, I am pleased to share that the KHC has been selected to be part of a 40-member opioid action team that will identify strategies and tactics for opioid addiction prevention and collaborate to accelerate and amplify current efforts going on across the country.

National Quality Partners (NQP) Opioid Stewardship Action Team, a program by the National Quality Forum, will ultimately publish a playbook that focuses on improving prescribing practices and identifying strategies and tactics for managing care of individuals who are at high risk of becoming dependent on opioids, while building on current public- and private-sector efforts to address the opioid epidemic. The playbook will be released in March 2018. NQP will model the Playbook after other successful efforts to tackle national healthcare priorities, including National Quality Partner’s Playbook: Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care, which has become an essential resource to help physicians, pharmacists, and healthcare organizations implement strategies to promote the appropriate and safe use of antibiotics. That playbook has been downloaded more than 30,000 times.

I will represent KHC on this Action Team, and I will join individuals from organizations across the country, many of which have launched innovative programs to address the opioid crisis. The Action Team is chaired by Christina Mikosz, MD, MPH, Medical Officer at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Paul Conlon, PharmD, JD, Senior Vice President, Chief Quality and Patient Safety, Trinity Health.

For more information on the NQP Opioid Stewardship Action Team, click here. The following organizations have representatives on the Action Team:


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

American Nurses Association

American Physical Therapy Association

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Appriss Health

BlueCross BlueShield Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Council of Medical Specialty Societies

Dental Quality Alliance

Elevating Home

GeisingerHealth System

Harborview Medical Center

Health Resources and Services Administration


Henry Ford Hospital

Heron Therapeutics

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

Hospital Corporation of America

IBM Watson Health

Institute for Behavioral Healthcare Improvement

Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Kaiser Permanente

Kentuckiana Health Collaborative

Magellan Health, Inc.

Mayo Clinic

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Partners Behavioral Health Management

Patient & Family Centered Care Partners, Inc.

Pharmacy Quality Alliance

Premier Healthcare Alliance

Press Ganey Associates

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Trinity Health

U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention

Veterans Health Administration

Vizient, Inc.

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