UW Health program lowers opioid prescribing with coaching

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- University of Wisconsin researchers are hoping to expand a program that involves coaching primary care doctors to follow opioid prescribing guidelines to help reduce prescribed doses of the medication and fight the state's opioid epidemic.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that doses fell 11 percent at clinics that paid special attention to urine drug testing and other patient monitoring methods. Other UW clinics not involved in the coaching program saw doses increase 8 percent.

University researchers have applied for a federal grant to expand the program to more clinics to combat opioid abuse in the state. Experts say the chances of misuse are lessened if fewer pills are prescribed.

Almost 830 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, up 35 percent from the previous year.

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