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In This Issue
Trajectories — Opioid Use Disorder
CDC Releases National, County-Based Map Of Opioid Prescribing Practices
U.S. Court Of Appeals Rules On Employer Disparagement
Quality and Population Health
Staff Contact: Leslie Porth
The July 2017 edition of Trajectories highlights the issue of opioid use and abuse. Opioid abuse has consequences beyond the individual patient. The Missouri Opioid-Heroin Overdose Prevention and Education project is designed to reduce overdose events throughout the state of Missouri, with a focus on the eastern region — specifically St. Louis and the surrounding counties — through increased access to naloxone and overdose education. In 2016, Missouri was awarded a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Prescription Drug/Opioid grant to increase the number of professional first responders, medical and mental health professionals, and other groups trained to carry, prescribe and administer naloxone. Missouri’s PDO program will train, at minimum, 3,600 professionals and laypersons and provide up to 36,000 doses of naloxone. Overdose education training and naloxone distribution has started in the eastern region where opioid deaths are highest, but will expand to other parts of the state.
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Staff Contacts: Leslie Porth or Alison Williams
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a county-by-county map of opioid prescribing practices. People in the highest opioid prescription counties are prescribed six times more opioids per capita. Also included are suggested approaches to reduce the number of prescriptions based on medical need.
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Health Law Insight
Staff Contact: Jane Drummond
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled that employees who disparage an employer’s products to undermine consumer confidence are not engaged in protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act. During an organizing campaign, employees posted leaflets in conspicuous public places and issued press releases alleging that a Jimmy John’s restaurant forced employees to work when sick, placing the public’s health at risk. Six employees were fired, and three were disciplined for their participation in the campaign. The court held that publicly disparaging comments about a company or its products must relate to the practices at issue in the labor dispute to be protected. Communications intended to undermine general support for the company or its products to gain bargaining power constitute disloyal behavior for which employees can be disciplined.
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In 2015, Missouri hospitals’ community benefit totaled $2.7 billion, and uncompensated care totaled $1.2 billion.
Source: MHA’s Annual Community Investment Report