This week, CMS released 2016 Opioid Part D Prescribing Rates data which follows on the heels of the original release several months ago. This data release includes Opioid prescriber, claims, and extended release claims at the national, state, county, and zip code level. We have updated our Opioid Prescribing Rates Interactive to include the new data and have drawn some immediate conclusions at a national level:
The number of Opioid prescribers as a percentage of overall prescribers has declined from 45.5% to 44.3%.
The Opioid prescription claims as a percentage of all Part D claims has declined to 5.35% from 5.52%, the fourth straight year of decline.
Extended release claims continue to migrate up for the fourth straight year from 6.71% to 6.92%. Extended release mitigates the potential risk of opioid overdose.
Regionally, there continue to be significant variations in opioid activity. At a state level, Alabama has the highest proportion of Opioid claims to overall claims percentage at 7.47%. While smaller counties may have regional anomalies, there are some major regional differences. For example, counties like Del Norte in northern California have shown a much higher than national average as shown in the map below. Del Norte has over 2.3x the national average for opioid claims.
The Opioid Prescribing Rate Interactive dynamically analyzes regional opioid claims, extended release claims, and provider data at the national, state, county, and zip code levels. This Interactive is part of our Community Health library and is also available individually for $295.