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Michigan Hospitals are Fighting this Deadly Epidemic

Prescription drug and opioid abuse is a growing national health emergency that impacts every community in Michigan. From 1999 to 2016, the total number of overdose deaths involving any type of opioid increased more than 17 times in Michigan, from 99 to 1,689, according to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.

Michigan hospitals are helping fight this deadly epidemic by working with lawmakers, state departments, physicians and the public to raise awareness and improve clinical processes. The MHA served on the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, an effort formed by Gov. Rick Snyder, that included a comprehensive report and more than two dozen recommendations for changes in regulations and practices that could help address the growing problem of abuse in Michigan.  Also, the MHA Keystone Center has worked with hospitals to educate patients, improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs associated with opioid use, and has received national recognition for its Pain Management Collaborative in 2016. Learn more under MHA Keystone Center Efforts

Latest Updates

Legislature Approves Opioid Bills; Governor Expected to Sign: Before the Michigan Legislature wrapped up for its winter recess, both the House and Senate passed bills aimed at combating Michigan’s growing opioid epidemic.

Read the article

Podcast Covers Opioid Crisis in Michigan: An episode of the MHA’s podcast, the MiCare Champion Cast, covered the opioid epidemic and featured interviews with Rami Khoury, MD, FACEP, medical director of emergency medicine at Henry Ford Allegiance Health, and Paige Fults, director of advocacy at the MHA.


Information for Hospitals and Physicians

Funding Available for MAPS/EHR Integration

The state will be providing funding for integrating the new Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) with the electronic health records (EHRs) and pharmacy dispensation systems of hospitals, physician groups and pharmacies across the state to help combat the misuse of prescription drugs. To take advantage of the funding available for integration, the MHA urges hospitals to request software integration from LARA.

Sign up for integration

MHA Keystone Center Efforts

The MHA Keystone Center launched the MHA Keystone: Pain Management collaborative in 2015 to address the growing concerns surrounding opioid overuse in the hospital setting, develop opioid prescribing guidelines and distribute resources for patients. The initiative aimed to improve pain management, decrease opioid use, and educate patients about safe pain management. It received national recognition for its progress toward those goals which resulted in improved patient care and reduced healthcare costs.  

According to a 1997 study, the costs associated with over-sedated patients was more than $5,000 per occurrence, as it results in respiratory depression, prolonged recovery and length of stay, and other clinical interventions. To address that issue, specific interventions of the MHA Keystone: Pain Management collaborative included a focus on patient screenings to determine opioid naivety or tolerance; risk and sedation assessments; and improvement of opioid prescription practices.

From 2015-2016, the MHA Keystone Center reported a nearly 50 percent decrease in the number of patients who required reversal agents after being treated with IV opioids. This results in better outcomes and care for patients and nearly $12.97 million in cost savings in the state. Based on these outcomes, the MHA Keystone: Pain Management collaborative received national recognition in 2016.

Other efforts from the MHA Keystone Center include:

  • Developing patient educational materials around opioids in partnership with its Patient Family Advisory Committee and clinical experts
  • Working with partner organizations under the MHA Keystone Hospital Engagement Network and the Great Lakes Partnership for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Network to decrease the use of opioids and instances in opioid-related adverse events in hospitals in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
  • Participating in national opioid task forces by several MHA and MHA Keystone Center staff members. 

Members with questions about legislative issues and clinical practices around opioids can contact the MHA.

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