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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Opioid treatment scams/Overdose hospital admissions

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 24, 2018 7:22 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, June 25, 2018:

More than 71 hundred Pennsylvanians went to out-of-state drug and alcohol treatment facilities according to a 2016-2017 survey conducted by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.  Most went to Florida.  Those seeking treatment may or may not have been treated successfully.  But the Insurance Department and the state's Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs are raising a warning about out-of-state group homes that are taking advantage of the opiod crisis and people who may be vulnerable.

Often there are sales people that tell those misusing drugs or alcohol that their insurance companies will pick up the cost of travel or medical bills. 

Monday's Smart Talk looks into this scam with Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman and Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith.

Also, a report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council found that hospital admissions for heroin overdoses increased by 12.7% in 2016-17.  That's the lowest increase in recent years. 

Overdoses for pain medication actually decreased by 2.2%.

Almost 10% of those hospitalized for heroin overdoses died in the hospital.

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Jennifer Smith, Jessica Altman, and Joe Martin

We'll get details of the report on Monday's Smart Talk from Joe Martin, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

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