Intermountain Healthcare reduces opiate prescriptions in Utah by 30 percent

Stock image, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — In 2017, Intermountain Healthcare set a goal to reduce the number of opiate prescriptions by 40 percent. IHC Chief Medical Officer David Hasleton shared the results Wednesday, saying they came close to the goal, reducing prescriptions by 30 percent.

Fox13 reports that doctors at IHC’s 22 hospitals and 180 clinics reduced the number of opiates they prescribed by 3.8 million in 2018.

“We’ve also reduced the number of people who are on benzodiazepines and opiates,” Hasleton said. “We know that the two medications taken together create significant risk for a patient to stop breathing.”

For a decade, Utah has consistently surpassed the national average of opiate overdoses, said Anna Fondario, program manager of the Violence and Injury Prevention Program.

“However, in 2017 and we’re continuing to see this trend in 2018, the U.S. rate has surpassed Utah’s rate for the first time,” Fondario said.

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Copyright 2018, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station.

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