Governor Wolf Joins AmeriHealth Caritas to Launch New Opioid Overdose Reversal Training Program for Its Employees
Company Expands Its Opioid Blueprint in Order to Reduce Overdose Death in Underserved Communities
AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in Medicaid managed care and other health care solutions for those most in need, announced today a new program to train its employees on the use of naloxone, also known as NARCAN®. As part of this program, employees will also be able to receive naloxone toolkits in a first-ever program by a managed care organization (MCO) in the Commonwealth. Governor Wolf and members of his Administration joined the rollout, which included a series of overdose reversal trainings in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex.
AmeriHealth Caritas is a leading employer in Pennsylvania, with over 3,100 employees in the Commonwealth and over 6,100 nationally, and is the Commonwealth’s largest Medicaid managed care company, serving over 620,000 members. Many of the company’s employees serve on the front line in vulnerable and underserved communities, providing face-to-face assistance to help residents access health care.
The Medicaid managed care organization will provide training and make naloxone toolkits available to allow employees to respond to an overdose by administering the overdose reversal drug. The program will first launch in the Commonwealth, and will later expand to all 6,100 employees in other states.
“We need all hands on deck to confront this crisis,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We’ve made progress in the past year, but there is more work to be done at all levels. That starts with saving lives and NARCAN is doing that. Today’s training is one more way to continue to battle this crisis and to learn how we can connect those impacted with resources and supports.”
“We’re honored to have Governor Wolf with us as we expand our Opioid Blueprint to serve our members in Pennsylvania,” said AmeriHealth Caritas Chairman and CEO Paul Tufano. “As a company that is deeply embedded in the communities we serve, we witness the struggles our members face. Opioid addiction doesn’t discriminate — regardless of income, race, gender or age, it has had a devastating effect on our neighbors, friends, families and co-workers. The struggle against opioid addiction is one no one should face alone, and we’ll do everything we can so more lives are not lost to this disease.”
Pennsylvania saw 4,267 overdose fatalities in 2018. Governor Wolf signed a disaster declaration in January of 2018 and has continued to extend the declaration to reflect the ongoing nature of the crisis. Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, has issued a standing statewide prescription to make naloxone available to the general public.
AmeriHealth Caritas’ Opioid Blueprint
Intervention, member engagement and increased access to naloxone are vital to AmeriHealth Caritas’ multi-faceted Opioid Blueprint, a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to prevent and combat substance use disorders. The Opioid Blueprint also provides an engagement strategy to help ensure AmeriHealth Caritas members have access to behavioral health treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).