SYRACUSE - Oswego Hospital is one of 18 Upstate New York hospitals and health centers collaborating with each other and with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to reduce the number of unnecessary opioid pills prescribed when patients are discharged from the hospital following any of 21 different surgical procedures.
The goal is to lower the risk of opioid misuse by reducing the number of opiate medications prescribed through a collaborative approach that blends the experience of surgeons and their hospitals with the data analytics of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. The guidelines established by the surgeons themselves will help to ensure that patients can adequately control their pain in the postoperative period.
“We’re honored to play a convening role with our surgeon partners to help them identify best practices, establish prescribing guidelines and periodically review data we collect for them so they can analyze and share their experiences with one another,” said Dr. LouAnne Giangreco, vice president and chief medical officer for health care improvement at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “This approach helps us achieve our mission, which is to collaborate with doctors to improve care for our members and our communities.”
The surgical quality initiative on opioid prescriptions began in 2018 when surgeons and nurses from 17 hospitals got together with the health plan to address the problems of opioid dependency and abuse.
The surgeons reviewed best practices and reached a consensus on appropriate opioid levels to prescribe for patients who have undergone any of 21 different procedures, which range from more intensive total knee replacement surgery to incision-less surgery for bladder tumors.
Other local hospitals participating in the program include St. Joseph’s Health and SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse and Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown.
The following surgeries are included in the program:
Total knee replacement
Total hip replacement
Rotator cuff repair
Total abdominal hysterectomy
Laparoscopic vaginal hysterectomy
Inguinal hernia repair
Laparoscopic gastric bypass
Laparoscopic gastric sleeve
Mitral valve replacement
VNUS closure (varicose vein treatment)
Transurethral Resection of the Bladder Tumor
Endoscopic sinus surgery
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting