GBC issues “Best Practices for Employers Managing Opioid Abuse” guide

The Greater Baltimore Committee has issued a set of guidelines to help employers manage opioid use and abuse in the workplace as part of a new initiative it has launched to help remedy this important workplace and public health issue.

Donald C. Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said the recommendations were developed by the GBC to ensure employers have policies and insurance coverage in place to help prevent and address opioid addiction in the workplace and to ensure affected employees receive the compassion and comprehensive treatment currently recommended by medical experts.

The guidelines, which were developed by the GBC’s Health Care Committee, were made public at the GBC’s Best Practices for Employers Managing Opioid Abuse Forum on October 2, 2018 held at the University of Maryland BioPark.

At the forum five health care and human resources professionals engaged in a conversation about what employers can do to help manage employee opioid addiction, including alternative methods to treat pain and suggestions for how to avoid addiction. Clay B. Stamp, Executive Director of the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center and Senior Emergency Management Advisor to the Governor, moderated a panel discussion with Dr. George Apostolides, Chief of Colorectal Surgery, Greater Baltimore Medical Center; Dr. Stephen Fisher, Medical Advisor to the CEO, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company; Gaye Fortner, Chief Executive Officer, HealthCare 21 Employer Coalition; and Denise Galambos, Vice President of Human Resources, BGE.

The panel discussed the burden of opioid abuse on employers, best practices for employers in managing opioid abuse, the effectiveness of multi-modal pain management and opioid alternatives for post-surgical pain for reducing opioid abuse and the role of human resources departments and health insurance/workers compensation policies play in managing the abuse.

Many employers are affected by the epidemic. A 2017 National Safety Council survey found that 71 percent of employers reported the opioid crisis impacts their workers, managers and resources. But only 19 percent said they were “extremely prepared” to deal with employees addicted or abusing opioids.

The forum and set of guidelines are part of an initiative that the GBC and its Health Care Committee are working on to help address this complex issue for employers in the Baltimore region and the state.

Read the “Best Practices for Employers Managing Opioid Abuse” guide.

View photos from the event here.

Read what they’re saying about the event:

Baltimore Business Journal: Have you talked about opioids with your employees? Md. officials say you should

The Daily Record: Employers find opioid crisis has become workplace crisis

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