FEHB carriers “are beginning to make progress toward achieving diabetes control” but more needs to be done, OPM said in its annual instruction for the upcoming year’s benefits package. It told the health insurance companies to ensure that network providers are aware that enrollees with abnormal blood glucose are covered for counseling to promote a healthful diet and physical activity. For those diagnosed with diabetes, carriers were encouraged to help with management including adherence to clinical guidelines, self-monitoring, regular testing of HgbA1c, and access to appropriate medications. Carriers also were encouraged to expand their coverage of Medication Assisted Treatment for enrollees with Substance Use Disorder. “SUD is now widely recognized as a chronic condition that involves changes in brain physiology. It is frequently observed with mental and physical health comorbidities, has a high rate of relapse, and requires ongoing treatment. The use of prescription opioids to manage pain is associated with a risk of dependence and SUD in the intended recipient, as well as the opportunity for diversion and/or misuse by others who have access to stored medications,” it says, adding that adhering to CDC prescribing guidelines can help mitigate the risk. Other priorities listed in the call letter include consideration of patient safety data at treatment facilities; reducing hospital readmissions; and increasing telehealth services.
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