United Healthcare claims early success with dental pain pill limit.

More broadly, UHC examined its insurance claims and found that dentists and oral surgeons are responsible for 12 percent of all opioid prescriptions, and nearly half of prescriptions for patients under the age of 19. 

A recent piece in the Crain’s Detroit Business publication provides more detail on UHC’s findings.

UHC’s Chief Dental Officer, Ted Wong, claims that his company’s three-day prescription policy, combined with a dental profession education program, has reduced opioid prescriptions by 17 percent for all patients. Prior to the change, the limit was 7 days—and that limit remains in place for adults.

UHC’s new limit comes at a time when many states are already taking legislative action to combat the opioid crisis. Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine, and Virginia have already passed legislation mandating opioids be prescribed electronically in an effort to tighten control and deter abuse.