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CareFirst to Invest $1.5 Million to Increase Substance Use Disorder Services

Funds to Ease Ongoing Public Health Crisis Across the Region

Baltimore, MD (April 05, 2018) - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the region’s largest not-for-profit insurer, plans to award $1.5 million over two years to programs increasing access to substance use disorder services – including efforts to combat opioid addiction – in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of drug-induced death has increased dramatically since 1999, accounting for more than 19.7 deaths per 100,000 people in the U.S. – currently the leading cause of accidental death in the country. Furthermore, regional statistics show that opioid overdoses have dramatically increased in CareFirst’s service area, including a 103 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths in Washington, D.C., and a 70 percent increase in Maryland between 2015 – 2016.

In response to this ongoing public health crisis, CareFirst has issued a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified 501(c)3 organizations and/or public (governmental) health entities seeking funding for programs to catalyze the expansion of access to outpatient treatment services and care coordination for individuals facing substance use disorders.

Proposals must be submitted online and completed no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 11, 2018. Additional information will be available during a pre-application webinar on Monday, April 16. While CareFirst is accepting applications that address substance use disorders across the continuum of care, preference will be given to those programs increasing access to outpatient care with medication-assisted treatment.

“Now more than ever, we need to collectively and comprehensively work to address substance use disorders and the impact – both direct and indirect – they have on our communities,” said CareFirst President and CEO Chet Burrell.

More information about the RFP, including eligibility guidelines and how to apply, can be found on our community site. Additional questions can be submitted to CareFirst’s Community Affairs team, accessible through an online contact form.

About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

In its 80th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.2 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2017, CareFirst invested more than $33 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram or Google+.

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