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Declines in opioid prescribing after a private insurer policy change—Massachusetts, 2011–2015.

García MC, Dodek AB, Kowalski T, et al. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 2016;65:1125-1131.

Adverse drug events related to opioid medications are a significant patient safety concern. This analysis of insurer claims data demonstrated that changing opioid prescribing requirements, including implementing patient–provider agreements, requiring prior authorization, and enforcing quantity limits, led to a decline in opioid prescribing. The authors recommend that insurers implement policies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opioid guidelines to improve safety.