Highlighting the important work Aetna is doing to combat the opioid crisis, Aetna Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Harold L. Paz, M.D., M.S., spoke on a panel at a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum entitled “Combating the Opioid Crisis: From Communities to the Capital.”
The March 1 forum and highlighted the work of the federal government, the states, and the business community to fight the epidemic. Paz spoke on a panel entitled “Solutions from the Health Sectors.” He described Aetna’s “super-prescriber” initiative, which started in 2016, as well as policy changes intended to increase access to treatment.
“We have an opportunity to look at the epidemic in terms of prevention, but also intervention, and ultimately support,” Paz said. “… At Aetna, we believe we have an opportunity to intervene in ways that really address the epidemic.”
Paz also emphasized the importance of finding solutions at the local level that address non-medical factors impacting health, often referred to as social determinants of health.
“What are the things we can do in those communities to help the individual member and patient, but also the broader community where those individuals are affected?” Paz said. “If they go back in the same setting them came from after treatment, it’s unlikely they can get off narcotics and opioids.”