The number of deaths related to opioids has one insurance company making some serious changes.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will now control how much patients are prescribed. Starting Wednesday, new patients will receive fewer opioids when they go in for a prescription.
Here's how it would work: physicians would provide patients who are new to opioid therapy and receiving a short-acting opioid with a five-day supply for the first prescription. Refills will be limited to a 30-day supply.
The insurance company said this will help their members get the pain management that is needed while taking positive steps to address the opioid problem.
From 1999 to 2016, the total number of overdose deaths involving opioids increased more than 17 times in Michigan from 99 to 1,699.
Some health leaders say over-prescribing has played a big role.