New Interactive Map Highlights State-Specific Trends in Opioid-Related Hospital Stays

Issue 576
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
August 1, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Cost Trends for Hospital Stays

From 2005 to 2014, the average inflation-adjusted cost of a hospital stay increased approximately 13 percent, from $9,500 to $10,900. Average costs for stays covered by Medicaid and private insurance increased 16 to 18 percent. Costs rose 8 percent for Medicare stays and 7 percent for uninsured stays. (AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #225: Trends in Hospital Inpatient Stays in the United States, 2005-2014.)

Today's Headlines:

New Interactive Map Highlights State-Specific Trends in Opioid-Related Hospital Stays

A new interactive map from AHRQ allows users to explore state-specific information about opioid-related hospital stays. Users may find, for example:

  • Opioid-related hospitalizations have increased most dramatically in Georgia, where rates nearly doubled between 2009 and 2014
  • West Virginia reported the highest hospitalization rate for women in 2014 – 371 per 100,000 people
  • Louisiana was the only state in which the highest-income communities had the highest opioid-related hospitalization rate in 2014

The map, which includes information on 44 states and the District of Columbia, highlights data from AHRQ’s Fast Stats, an online tool that offers national and state-specific data on hospital stays and emergency department visits, including data by age, gender, community-level income and urban versus rural residency. The map is the most recent example of AHRQ’s ongoing efforts to address the nation’s opioid epidemic.

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 Analysis Estimates Costs of Adverse Drug Events in Hospitals

A new article by AHRQ researchers estimates that adverse drug events (ADEs) associated with anticoagulants and hypoglycemic agents each added about $2.5 billion to annual hospital costs in 2013. Adverse events are common among hospital patients who are treated with anticoagulants to encourage blood clotting or hypoglycemic agents to manage blood sugar levels. Researchers used nationally representative hospital data from the agency’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project and the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System to identify adverse events and calculate associated additional hospital costs. They estimated that in 2013 there were 250,000 ADEs from anticoagulants and 600,000 ADEs from hypoglycemic agents. Anticoagulant ADEs added more to the cost of hospital stays than hypoglycemic ADEs ($10,250 versus $4,300). Access the abstract of the article, which was published in the journal Medical Care

New AHRQ Publications Support Management of Insomnia Disorder

New evidence-based publications from AHRQ can help clinicians and patients effectively manage insomnia disorder, defined as a long-term condition in which a person has trouble sleeping at least three nights each week for at least three months. The research summary for clinicians, Management of Insomnia Disorder in Adults: Current State of the Evidence, highlights findings from an AHRQ-funded evidence review that showed cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective and safe as a treatment for insomnia. Some short-term studies found that medications were also effective for treating insomnia, but they have potential side effects. Also available is Managing Insomnia Disorder: A Review of the Research for Adults, a companion guide for patients to support shared decision-making between clinicians, patients and caregivers.

AHRQ's "Questions Are the Answer" Offers Tools To Promote Patient Involvement

"Questions Are the Answer," AHRQ's ongoing public education initiative on patient involvement, offers several information tools to help clinicians and their patients communicate to make health care safer. AHRQ's website features these valuable tools:

  • A seven-minute DVD of patients and clinicians discussing the importance of asking questions and sharing information, which is ideal for a lobby or waiting room area.
  • A brochure, titled "Be More Involved in Your Health Care: Tips for Patients," that offers helpful suggestions to follow before, during and after a medical visit.
  • Notepads to help patients prioritize the top three questions they wish to ask during their medical appointment.

"Questions Are the Answer" is designed to promote safer care and better health outcomes. To request a free supply of these materials, email or call 1-800-358-9295.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Databases for congenital heart defect public health studies across the lifespan. Riehle-Colarusso TJ, Bergersen L, Broberg CS, et al. J Am Heart Assoc 2016 Oct 26;5(11). Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Patient-centered communication for discussing oncotype DX testing. Roberts MC, Bryson A, Weinberger M, et al. Cancer Invest 2016 May 27;34(5):205-12. Epub 2016 Apr 28. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Teaching health care workers to adopt a systems perspective for improved control and prevention of health care-associated infections. Ruis AR, Shaffer DW, Shirley DK, et al. Am J Infect Control 2016 Nov 1;44(11):1360-4. Epub 2016 Jul 14. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Addressing ambulatory safety and malpractice: the Massachusetts PROMISES Project. Schiff GD, Reyes Nieva H, Griswold P, et al. Health Serv Res 2016 Dec;51 Suppl 3:2634-41. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

ICU rounds: "What we've got here is failure to communicate". Segall N, Bennett-Guerrero E. Crit Care Med 2017 Feb;45(2):366-7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Estimating the costs of supporting safety-net transformation into patient-centered medical homes in post-Katrina New Orleans. Shao H, Brown L, Diana ML, et al. Medicine (Baltimore) 2016 Sep;95(39):e4990.  Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Itch in the general internal medicine setting: a cross-sectional study of prevalence and quality-of-life effects. Silverberg JI, Hinami K, Trick WE, et al. Am J Clin Dermatol 2016 Dec;17(6):681-90. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mailed outreach program increases ultrasound screening of patients with cirrhosis for hepatocellular carcinoma. Singal AG, Tiro JA, Marrero JA, et al. Gastroenterology 2017 Feb;152(3):608-15.e4. Epub 2016 Nov 5. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

For comments or questions about AHRQ News Now, contact Bruce Seeman at or (301) 427-1998.

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Page last reviewed August 2017
Page originally created August 2017
Internet Citation: New Interactive Map Highlights State-Specific Trends in Opioid-Related Hospital Stays. Content last reviewed August 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.