American Well and Netsmart Join to Address Opioid Crisis in the US

The companies hope to provide better resources and access for rural areas.

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American Well, a premier telehealth provider in the U.S., and Netsmart, an electronic health records (EHR) solution provider, have joined forces to combat the opioid crisis. The two healthcare IT companies announced their partnership at the Interoperability Showcase, which was part of the 2019 HIMSS Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says 130 people in the U.S. die each day from opioid-related overdoses. In addition, about 11.4 million people abuse opioid drugs and the crisis costs $78.6 billion each year, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Opioid addiction has immeasurable impacts on those who are fighting the disease, as well as their loved ones,” said American Well CEO Ido Schoenberg, MD.

American Well’s venture with Netsmart is part of a response to HHS’s five-point strategy to combat the opioid epidemic. A part of the strategy is to improve prevention, treatment, and recovery access to opioid addicts and their families. Rural communities have fewer resources to combat opioid addiction.

“Telehealth has begun to play a significant role in expanding access to the treatment and prevention of opioid addiction – both in rural and urban areas”, stresses Schoenberg. “We’re excited we have partnered with Netsmart to show how technology can help assist with this critical need.”

The alliance with American Well will offer real-time care delivering access to behavioral health providers, addiction care, social services, and post-acute care. Opioid abusers and their families will now be able to get enhanced virtual services through the partnership, which hopes to give people help when they need it.

Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine says “As payment models continue to shift to value-based care, connecting these scarce resources is key to providing integrated care.”

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