Harrisburg, Pa. – Capital BlueCross chief medical officer and senior vice president of
clinical solutions, Dr. Jennifer Chambers, today provided a keynote address at the
Magellan Health - Leading Humanity to Healthy, Vibrant Lives conference in Lancaster.
The event focused on finding solutions to the opioid epidemic, bringing together experts
from the medical, healthcare, and law enforcement fields.
During the conference, Capital BlueCross awarded Compass Mark a $5,000 grant for
leading addiction prevention efforts. The non-profit organization, based in Lancaster and
Lebanon counties, works to prevent addiction through education, skill building, and
Dr. Chambers has extensive knowledge in opioid misuse disorder and the evolution of
the opioid epidemic. Her background gives her unique insight into what patients,
doctors, and others in healthcare are faced with when it comes to opioids.
“We need to get rid of the stigma, and recognize the medical condition that is opioid
addiction,” said Dr. Chambers. “As we work together, I am certain that we can make
gains in better monitoring of prescriptions and prescribing practices, population health
management, access to care, and treatment for opioid use disorder.”
According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Health of America Report:
America’s Opioid Epidemic and its Effect on the Nation’s Commercially Insured, one in
five Blues members has been prescribed opioids - a staggering number that can have
devastating impacts. According to Dr. Chambers, dosage and duration matter when it
comes to the risk of addiction.
Capital BlueCross imposed quantity limits on opioids in July 2017, resulting in a 42%
reduction in opioids prescribed to Capital BlueCross members. While these are
promising numbers, Dr. Chambers says there is still more work to be done.
Capital BlueCross has been a leader in fighting the opioid epidemic. Along with quantity
limits, the company has taken several proactive steps to prevent opioid misuse and to
help those in recovery, including:
• Advocating for non-opioid pharmacological therapies first and enhanced
coverages for non-pharmacological treatments for pain such as acupuncture, biofeedback,
and chiropractic care.
• Continuously working to improve clinical management of opioid use and how we
help our members manage pain.
• Actively supporting drug take-back initiatives, including the ability to safely
discard unused medications at our Capital Blue health and wellness centers.
• Expanding the use of the safety and monitoring program from CVS Health, which
enables pharmacists to identify and report suspected opioid misuse to a
member’s doctor and other prescribers. This includes alerts to prescribers and
dispensers of opioids when members receive an opioid prescription from more
than one prescriber, or for more than one drug class, such as the addition of
benzodiazepines like Xanax.
• Providing medication assisted treatment, which covers medication prescribed to
help individuals overcome addiction, as a covered benefit for our members.
• Partnering with experts to provide programs offering personalized support to our
members dealing with chronic pain; these programs are targeted to help alleviate
symptoms and improve quality of life.
• Contributing $200,000 since 2014 to enable law enforcement officers in our
service are to purchase naloxone, the life-saving medication that can revive a
person suffering from a potentially fatal overdose.
“Pennsylvania’s death rate from opioids hasn’t peaked yet,” said Dr. Chambers. “It’s a
stark reminder how everyone in healthcare has a stake in preventing opioid addiction
from needlessly taking any more lives.”
About Capital BlueCross
Capital BlueCross, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., is the leading health solutions and
insurance company in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. A partner in the
community’s health for 80 years, Capital BlueCross offers health insurance products,
services and technology solutions that provide peace of mind to consumers and
promote health and wellness for our customers.
More than a health insurer, the company delivers innovative solutions through a family
of diversified businesses that is creating a healthier future and lowering health care
costs. Among these solutions are patient-focused care models, leading-edge data
analytics, and digital health technologies. Additionally, Capital BlueCross is growing a
network of Capital Blue health and wellness centers that provide in-person service and
inspiration to help people reach their health goals. Capital BlueCross is an independent
licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit