Opioids, Women & Employee Benefit Strategies
You won’t find the face of the opioid crisis in an unemployed 28 year-old man; it’s an employed and insured 52 year-old woman. And that can be helped with the right employee benefit strategies.
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That means employers could bring an end to this era. How? Well, employers play a leading role in the purchasing of healthcare in our country. With the right employee benefit strategies, they can be the heroes that empower patients to avoid opioid addiction in the first place.
Employee Benefit Strategies, Women’s Health and Opioids:
Before we get to employee benefit strategies, let’s look at what leads to women’s opioid addiction in the first place.
- Surgery represents the No. 1 gateway to opioid addiction
- Women are 40 percent more likely than men to become newly persistent users of opioids following surgery. A combination of factors — including physiological, clinical and social — contribute to this increased risk of addiction.
- Doctors prescribe women more opioids than men (15 percent more, in fact). Women undergo major surgical procedures men are not, like hysterectomies to remove the uterus and childbirth through cesarean section.
- And studies show prescribing any opioids increases the likelihood of addiction. But the likelihood of persistent use rises with the number of pills and the length of time opioids are taken.
Doctors prescribe women more opioids. So women take more opioids. As a result, women are more likely to become persistent opioid users.
All of this adds up to millions of women joining the ranks of persistent opioid users over the last decade. This profoundly impacts our communities, companies and families.
How Can Employee Benefit Strategies Help?
Solutions exist to address addiction after the fact. But what about addressing the underlying pain opioids are prescribed for in the first place. We can do this at the point where so much opioid use starts — surgery.
At Goldfinch, we develop employee benefit strategies with an innovative approach to surgery. This results in:
- 30 percent shorter hospital stays
- 50 percent fewer complications
- And up to 90 percent reduced need for opioids after surgery!
Thus, our employee benefit service allows employers, brokers, and insurers to better serve women. It also offers a new form of support through one of the most costly, consequential and scary experiences within medicine — surgery.
Women-Focused Benefits & Opioids
We believe strongly in the importance of employee benefit strategies that take into consideration the needs of all employees. So we wholeheartedly support efforts by leading employers to introduce more benefit programs geared toward the previously overlooked needs of women. These include fertility treatment benefits, guidance through maternity, and breastfeeding support.
But we believe employers must go further in supporting women. Providing services that address healthcare needs at many life stages proves critical. And significantly, improving surgical outcomes comes into play at each stage. Our solution combines leading-edge technology, innovative approaches, nurse navigation and advocacy. It empowers women to find the best experience possible in surgery and recovery — and avoid opioid addiction.
With our solution, the employer and employee enjoy lower healthcare costs and a shorter return to life and work. And a lower risk of opioid addiction. which benefits everyone.