Xerox tracking tool helps Missouri battle prescription-opioid abuse

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Xerox recently began working with MO HealthNet, Missouri’s state Medicaid division, to tackle the prescription-opioid drug abuse epidemic by using technology that increases the communication between physicians and pharmacists to ensure that opioids are prescribed and used safely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 44 people across the U.S. die every day from overdosing on prescription opioids.

Xerox’s prescription clinical authorization tool provides physicians and pharmacists with real-time insight into recent prescriptions received and filled by a patient. As a pharmacist fills a prescription, the tool examines whether the patient recently has received another opioid. If he or she has received one, the pharmacist receives a notification that prior authorization is required to verify the medication is correctly prescribed and necessary for the treatment plan.

“Missouri does not have a statewide, electronic, prescription-drug monitoring program, so physicians and pharmacists have limited visibility into other medications a patient has received,” Janelle Sheen, pharmacy solutions director of Government Healthcare Solutions at Xerox, said. “We help eliminate that blind spot by providing data and alerts that reduce doctor- and pharmacy-hopping while improving the coordination of care.”

With this program, MO HealthNet has reduced the number of patients receiving more than the Food and Drug Administration’s recommended dose of opioids. Vicodin use dropped more than 30 percent, and Percocet dropped 16 percent from January 2012 to January 2015.
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