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San Francisco Health Plan Hosts Forum on Pain Management and Addiction for over 300 Clinicians

SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- San Francisco Health Plan (SFHP), a community health plan serving over 80,000 San Francisco residents, is hosting a workshop to help doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and social workers treat chronic pain safely, without feeding into addiction and diversion. 

On Thursday, May 2nd, at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, participants will learn about how to identify addiction, prevent overdose, use non-opioid approaches to pain management and more.  This is SFHP's second annual pain management educational event, and the number of registrants doubled this year.

Nationwide trends in drug abuse have become widespread. Drug overdose from prescription opiates (morphine-like drugs) are now more common a cause of death than motor vehicle accidents.1 Extremely high doses of opiates are common in the Medicaid population, and Medicaid patients on opiates are six times more likely to die than the general population.2 Prescription opiates are the second most common drug of abuse for pre teens and teens, after marijuana.3 It is estimated that over 2,300 residents of San Francisco were admitted for substance abuse treatment over a two year period and over 42,000 self reported drug abuse or dependence.4

"Drug overdoses from prescription opiates in America are an epidemic. In San Francisco alone there were 261 opiate-related deaths in the past two years.  Providers are struggling with how to compassionately treat pain yet avoid creating addiction, and we are here to help," said Dr. Kelly Pfeifer , Chief Medical Officer of San Francisco Health Plan.  "The entire safety net system is very concerned about the epidemic, and we are happy to partner with providers to address this vital issue."

Dr. Pfeifer will be presenting 'Changing San Francisco's Systems to Support Safe and Effective Pain Management' at the workshop, focusing on identifying key risk factors for overdose, and setting up systems in clinics to ensure safe prescribing.

4. Based on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: JAMA 2012;307(8):774-776

About San Francisco Health Plan
San Francisco Health Plan, a licensed community health plan providing affordable health coverage to over 80,000 low and moderate-income families residing in San Francisco. SFHP was designed for and by the residents it serves – many of whom would not be able to otherwise obtain health care for themselves or their families. Through SFHP, members have access to a full spectrum of medical services including preventive care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, family planning, and substance abuse programs. SFHP's mission is to provide superior, affordable health care emphasizing prevention and promoting healthy living with the goal of improving the quality of life for the people of San Francisco. San Francisco Health Plan is also the third party administrator for the nationally recognized Healthy San Francisco program.  For more information on SFHP, visit,



SOURCE San Francisco Health Plan
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