Michigan offers providers a new tool to fight opioid abuse

Michigan is giving providers new tools to better identify and manage patients who may be at risk for opioid abuse.

Using the substance abuse management software platform of Appriss Health, a company that offers a prescription drug monitoring program, the state is integrating the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS), which monitors prescriptions, directly into the workflows of hospital and physician electronic health records systems, as well as pharmacy systems throughout the state.

“Integrating MAPS into the regular operations of prescribers and dispensers makes the system even easier to use and enhances patient protections,” says Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who championed the program. “This resource will help practitioners make better decisions on prescribing to prevent opioid abuse and save the lives of Michiganders.”

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The platform uploads data in real-time to providers, enabling them to view patient histories, drugs prescribed, the volume of the prescription, the prescribing physician and reports of what pharmacists have dispensed to a provider’s patients. Providers can run patient reports in a single system rather than logging in and out of two or more systems.

Providers who practice close to the borders of neighboring states also can pull reports to get a clearer picture of patients who cross state lines in attempts to get prescriptions.

There is no cost to providers—the state appropriated $2.47 million for the platform and had enough funds left over to cover statewide provider integration—it also received a $373,000 grant from the Justice Department to cover other integration costs, says Kim Gaedeke, director at the Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing. Providers, however, must ask for the service via a specific form, and complete and sign a series of legal agreements.

The goal is to engage providers this year and complete vendor integrations, “and turn on what has already been built,” says Brad Bower, vice president of business development at Appriss Health.

To make providers aware of the initiative, Appriss Health is working with software vendors to explain the available service and connect with vendor customers who wish to participate. Integration is done via an application programming interface called PMP Gateway.

“The vendors code to our gateway, and once coding is complete, these are enterprise integrations,” Bower explains. “One interface, and they are done.”

With the resources at hand, making the Michigan Automated Prescription System easily available to providers for monitoring their patients was a no-brainer, Gaedeke says. “For what we are investing and getting in return, this is very exciting. This is getting us one step closer in helping in this fight against opioid abuse.”

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