New Reports Highlight AHRQ’s Support for National Opioids Awareness Week

Issue 632
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
September 18, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Opioid-Related Hospitalizations for Older Americans

Among patients ages 65 years and older, the rate of opioid-related hospitalizations increased 34 percent while the rate of non-opioid-related hospitalizations decreased 17 percent between 2010 and 2015. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #244: Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Among Patients Aged 65 Years and Older, 2010 and 2015.)

Today's Headlines:

New Reports Highlight AHRQ’s Support for National Opioids Awareness Week

Two new AHRQ reports about the impact of opioids on seniors are part of the agency’s contributions to this week’s HHS Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. One report from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project shows that nearly 125,000 hospitalizations among older Americans involved opioid-related diagnoses in 2015. Another report from the agency’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey indicates that, in 2015 and 2016, nearly 4 million seniors, on average, filled four or more opioid prescriptions. AHRQ has joined the battle against opioids by developing an opioids Web page designed to increase access to evidence and support the work of policymakers, clinicians, researchers and others tackling the public health crisis. The resource includes:

  • Statistical briefs that quantify trends in prescription opioid use and opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
  • Clinical tools that provide guidance on team-based management of patients on chronic opioid therapy and integration of behavioral therapy in primary care.
  • Resources related to opioids research, including opioid-related journal publications; a summary of AHRQ projects developed to increase the use of medication-assisted treatment; and a new special emphasis. notice that underscores the agency’s interest in receiving health services research grant applications aimed at finding solutions to the opioids crisis.
  • An opioids newsroom that links to opioid-related press releases, AHRQ Views blog posts and infographics.

Access today’s press release on AHRQ’s new statistical briefs and a collection of infographics highlighting the impacts of opioids.

AHRQ Leaders Join Effort To Improve Accuracy and Timeliness of Diagnosis

AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., and Jeff Brady, M.D., M.P.H., who directs AHRQ’s Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, joined leaders from more than 40 organizations on Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C., to launch a new effort to highlight the importance of diagnostic safety. The initiative, ACT for Better Diagnosis, is sponsored by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine to raise awareness about the need to better ensure that all patients receive diagnoses that are accurate, communicated and timely. Each year, an estimated 12 million people are affected by diagnostic errors, and approximately 4 million suffer serious harm. The cost of diagnostic errors to the U.S. health care system has been estimated at more than $100 billion annually. “We have open funding announcements to allow researchers to continue identifying solutions and interventions to this enormous challenge,” Khanna said. Dr. Brady noted that AHRQ’s ongoing work in this area, including AHRQ’s Patient Safety Learning Labs, is helping to fill gaps in knowledge about diagnostic safety at transitions of care and in diverse settings of care.

AHRQ Views Blog Post: Apply by Sept. 24 for AHRQ’s New App Development Challenge!

Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., reminds technologists to participate in AHRQ's Step Up App Challenge, a competition to address the need for greater use of standardized patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data in clinical care and research. PRO data are defined as any report on the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or other medical expert. The competition will result in a user-friendly app to enhance health care data collection and thereby improve the quality of care. The total prize pool for the challenge is $250,000. The deadline for entries is Sept. 24.

Register Now for Sept. 24 Webinar on Medicaid’s Personal Responsibility Provisions

Registration is open for a webinar on Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. ET about Research Insights, an AHRQ-funded conference series that recently explored states’ experiences with Medicaid’s personal responsibility provisions and the national implications of these experiences. Presenters will discuss the effects of provisions such as increased patient cost-sharing, work requirements and incentives for healthy behavior. These policies are rooted in the idea that greater engagement among beneficiaries will lead to more prudent use of health services and better lifestyle choices, which may result in better health outcomes. The webinar, hosted by AcademyHealth, will focus on experiences in Kentucky and Michigan.

Order Before Sept. 25 for Free Spanish-Language Patient Safety Publications

In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15–Oct. 15, AHRQ is offering free Spanish-language and bilingual patient safety publications on several conditions. The resources may support Hispanic outreach initiatives or promotores de salud programs. To receive up to 500 copies of each publication, contact AHRQ at (800) 358-9295, or Orders must be placed before Sept. 25. Please reference AHRQ promo code 44 to receive free shipping. The available publications are:

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Utility of blood culture among children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia. Neuman MI, Hall M, Lipsett SC, et al. Pediatrics 2017 Sep;140(3). Epub 2017 Aug 23. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Determinants of potentially inappropriate medication use in long-term and acute care settings: a systematic review. Nothelle SK, Sharma R, Oakes AH, et al. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2017 Sep 1;18(9):806.e1-806.e17. Epub 2017 Jul 29. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Preferences and motivation for weight loss among knee replacement patients: implications for a patient-centered weight loss intervention. Pellegrini CA, Ledford G, Hoffman SA, et al. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2017 Aug 1;18(1):327. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Notifiable condition reporting practices: implications for public health agency participation in a health information exchange. Revere D, Hills RH, Dixon BE, et al. BMC Public Health 2017 Mar 11;17(1):247. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Can machine learning complement traditional medical device surveillance? A case study of dual-chamber implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Ross JS, Bates J, Parzynski CS, et al. Med Devices (Auckl) 2017 Aug 16;10:165-88. eCollection 2017. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Challenges in the medical management of symptomatic intracranial stenosis in an urban setting. Sangha RS, Naidech AM, Corado C, et al. Stroke 2017 Aug;48(8):2158-63. Epub 2017 Jul 5. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A national study of the impact of delayed flap timing for treatment of patients with deep sternal wound infection. Sears ED, Momoh AO, Chung KC, et al. Plast Reconstr Surg 2017 Aug;140(2):390-400. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Selected comorbidities of atopic dermatitis: atopy, neuropsychiatric, and musculoskeletal disorders. Silverberg JI. Clin Dermatol 2017 Jul-Aug;35(4):360-6. Epub 2017 Mar 24. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

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Page last reviewed September 2018
Page originally created September 2018
Internet Citation: New Reports Highlight AHRQ’s Support for National Opioids Awareness Week. Content last reviewed September 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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