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Insurance providers finding unique ways to deal with opioid crisis

The opioid epidemic is having a major impact across Central Ohio. The fight to tackle addiction is being fought on a number of fronts where insurance companies are now developing measures to help.{ } (Courtesy: CNN Newsource)

COLUMBUS, OH (WSYX/WTTE) -- The opioid epidemic is having a major impact across Central Ohio. The fight to tackle addiction is being fought on a number of fronts where insurance companies are now developing measures to help.

The aim of the program is to help families and save lives.

“Ohio has been kind of disproportionately affected actually in some ways,” said Dr. Mario San Bartolome.

Dr. San Bartolome stressed the work won’t be easy.

“We’re trying to nurture and to support and to collaborate with all of the providers,” said Dr. San Bartolome.

San Bartolome is Molina Healthcare’s National Addiction Medical Specialist. He detailed innovative new ways the insurance provider is looking to address the opioid epidemic.

“One of the challenges is to find people that can treat and provide what we call medication assisted treatment,” San Bartolome said.

Dr. Kedar Deshpande works with patients at the Orthopedic and Spine Center in Dublin. He said that for far too long the finger has pointed at doctors and drug makers. ABC 6/FOX 28 highlighted his concerns in a November investigation. Dr. Deshpande said in some instances that he’s forced to follow insurance guidelines that he believes are not in the best interest of patients. He added that companies like Molina have to play a major role in addressing the issue.

"This is a problem in our society. It's a problem that's fueling the opioid epidemic," said Dr. Deshpande.

San Bartolome is visiting Ohio to work with physicians. He’s tasked with educating doctors on ways to address issues with their patients. The overall mission is to work with those on the front lines, crafting treatment options, and also helping in the fight against addiction.

“Everybody has a part,” said San Bartolome.

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