Letter to the Editor: AHIP Response to 'The STOP Measure' Report

A rebuttal to TCB's story titled "Insurance Industry Report Blames Prescribers for Opioid Crisis."

EDITOR'S NOTE: On Wednesday, Twin Cities Business published a story analyzing a report from America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) titled The STOP Measure: Safe and Transparent Opioid Prescribing to Promote Patient Safety and Reduced Risk of Opioid Misuse. What follows is a rebuttal to the story from Cathryn Donaldson, director of communications and public affairs at AHIP.

I saw your article yesterday, and I think there are some important corrections and clarifications that need to be made. The introduction to your piece is inaccurate. There was absolutely no blaming or finger pointing in the announcement we made last week– the whole initiative and methodology was developed in partnership with clinicians and clinical experts to address the opioid epidemic. It’s about working together and has nothing to do with blaming one industry or another. More specifically:


  1. The point of releasing this data is to develop a methodology and baseline so health insurance providers and clinicians can work together to comply with guidelines developed by the CDC --  these are not guidelines imposed by health insurance providers on clinicians.
  2. This is an important industry-wide commitment to ensuring wide-spread adoption of these guidelines. The STOP Measure will enable health plans and providers to work together to more effectively improve adherence with the CDC Guidelines, significantly improving patient safety and reducing the risk of opioid misuse.
  3. This crisis will not be solved in a vacuum. To effectively address the opioid crisis, it must be addressed comprehensively, from the entire spectrum of the health care industry. That is exactly what this initiative is about – collaboration and cooperation between health plans and clinicians/health care providers/prescribers.


Health insurance providers are on the front lines of this crisis and are focused on working together and finding a solution.

Cathryn Donaldson is the director of communications and public affairs at Washington D.C.-based America's Health Insurance Plans.