Journal Article
Study

Indication-specific opioid prescribing for US patients with Medicaid or private Insurance, 2017

Mikosz CA, Zhang K, Haegerich TM, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3.

Adherence to prescribing guidelines for appropriate opioid dosing and duration can decrease the risk of opioid-related harm. In this retrospective analysis of nationally representative outpatient claims data, researchers found that over a 4-6 month period, 28% of Medicaid and 35% of privately-insured patients had at least one pain-related visit and 35% of all enrollees had one or more opioid prescriptions. Opioid prescribing rates varied depending on the specific medical indication and the patient’s opioid prescribing history. The researchers found that prescribing rates of many pain medical indications were not always aligned with current guidelines. For example, patients with chronic non-cancer pain conditions undergoing long-term opioid therapy were commonly prescribed daily doses above the threshold for which adverse events, such as overdose, are increased.