Nearly one in five Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members had a prescription for an opioid filled in 2015. The dispensing rate nationally was higher, at 21.4 percent. Between 2010 and 2016, the 36 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans across the U.S. recorded a 493-percent spike in enrollees diagnosed with a disorder associated with opioid use. Those statistics from the Chicago-based Blue Cross Blue Shield Association reflect the opioid epidemic in America that in 2016 resulted in more than 33,000 overdose deaths. MiBiz spoke with Jody Gembarski, a pharmacy manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan who oversees its controlled substance work group, to discuss the association’s analysis and the role the state’s largest health insurer has in responding to the epidemic.

Published in Health Care