Greg interviews Dr. Doug Nemecek, the Chief medical officer of CIGNA’s Behavioral Health Business. Dr. Nemecek, along with CIGNA, has worked to create a program to cut down on the amount of opioids prescribed to patients.

Greg asks Dr. Nemecek about how the CIGNA program aims to further the education of healthcare providers on the best methods to address the opioid epidemic.  Dr. Nemecek explains that the program is working to connect physicians to both their peers and their communities, and assembling a ‘playbook’ of sorts to share the experiences and knowledge of these healthcare providers with each other. “We’re sharing information with [physicians] and asking them to partner with us. We are creating feedback so we can give these physician groups a profile of the prescribing that’s being done by [them] and how that prescribing aligns with the CDC guidelines, as well as comparing those physicians to their peers in the community and our other collaborators… The other thing we’ve done is those that have taken steps to address the opioid epidemic – some have already done some internal education with other medical groups or hospitals in their community, maybe with an emergency room, and have unique programs put in place that improve opioid prescribing. So we’re compiling those stories and outcomes and putting them together in a playbook and sharing that playbook of evidence based practices with other physician groups across the country so that they can also learn from each other and identify opportunities or practices that they may be able to implement in their practice, in their hospital, and in their community as well.”

Listen to the podcast to discover how this program is not only helping to reduce overprescribing and treat substance abuse disorders, but is also eliminating the stigma of substance abuse disorder and opioid use disorder being a character flaw.