Newly Insured Medicaid Patients in Oregon Receive Fewer Opioid Prescriptions

Issue 669
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
June 18, 2019

AHRQ Stats: Readmissions Cost More Than Initial Admissions

Compared with initial hospital admissions costs, average costs for readmissions were 90 percent higher for ear/mastoid diseases ($12,900 vs. $6,800) and 63 percent higher for skin diseases ($13,200 vs. $8,100) in 2016. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #248: Characteristics of 30-Day All-Cause Hospital Readmissions, 2010-2016.)

Today's Headlines:

Newly Insured Medicaid Patients in Oregon Receive Fewer Opioid Prescriptions

Medicaid patients in Oregon who returned to the program or became newly covered as a result of Medicaid expansions were less likely to be prescribed an opioid than patients already in the program, according to an AHRQ-funded study in Addiction. A review of 225,000 adult Medicaid patients showed 52 percent of continuously insured patients received an opioid prescription between 2014 and 2015 compared with 49 percent of returning patients and 42 percent of newly insured patients. About 16 percent of continuously insured patients had chronic opioid use, compared with about 12 percent of returning insured and 13 percent of newly insured. Policymakers should consider the importance of Medicaid continuity in combatting the opioid epidemic and the need for adequate access to continuous insurance, the authors concluded. Access the abstract.

AHRQ Views Blog: Improving Diagnostic Safety

AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, M.B.A., and Jeff Brady, M.D., director of AHRQ’s Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, highlight AHRQ’s commitment to improving diagnostic safety in a new AHRQ Views blog post. The post highlights work already underway, including funding for Patient Safety Learning Laboratories and grants that emphasize diagnostic excellence. Improving diagnostic safety, establishing a data and analytics platform to support healthcare decision-making and improving care for patients with multiple chronic conditions have been identified as three areas that will guide the agency’s future activities. Access the blog post on diagnostic safety. To receive all blog posts, submit your email address and select “AHRQ Views Blog.”

Feedback Due by June 28 on Questions in Consumer Assessment of Health Survey

The deadline has been extended to June 28 for public comments on the relevance and helpfulness of questions in AHRQ’s Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Health Plan Survey 5.0. Comments will inform decisions about a potential update to the survey to ensure that the questions continue to be useful to survey sponsors, users, patients, consumers and other stakeholders. CAHPS surveys ask consumers about their experiences with healthcare. Survey results help healthcare organizations assess strengths and weaknesses in performance, determine where they need to improve and track their progress over time. Access AHRQ’s Request for Information

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). 

Reminder: Important Deadlines Approaching for Predictive Analytics Challenge

Participants in AHRQ’s Bringing Predictive Analytics to Healthcare Challenge must submit data use agreements by June 21. Final applications are due June 28. The challenge explores how predictive analytics can be applied to existing databases to forecast trends in healthcare utilization and spending. First-, second- and third-place winners will divide a $225,000 prize pool. Participants must develop a model using predictive analytics and related methods to estimate 2017 hospitalization rates and 2016 average lengths of stay for selected U.S. counties. Access AHRQ’s press release or visit the Predictive Analytics Challenge website. 

Register Now for June 20 and June 27 Webinars on How To Join Surgical Safety Program

Registration is open for webinars on June 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. ET, and June 27, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET, on how hospitals can join AHRQ’s free Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery, a 12-month initiative that starts Sept. 1. Participants will implement a program to improve surgical care and recovery after gynecologic, colorectal or hip fracture/joint replacement surgeries using evidence-based enhanced recovery pathways, coaching and content calls with experts in the field and other resources. The project is funded and guided by AHRQ and led by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Challenges in communication from referring clinicians to pathologists in the electronic health record era. Barbieri AL, Fadare O, Fan L, et al. J Pathol Inform 2018 Apr 2;9:8. eCollection 2018. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

Effect of harm anchors in visual displays of test results on patient perceptions of urgency about near-normal values: experimental study. Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Scherer AM, Witteman HO, et al. J Med Internet Res 2018 Mar 26;20(3):e98. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

Implementing a Social Knowledge Networking (SKN)system to enable meaningful use of an EHR medication reconciliation system. Rangachari P. Risk Manag Healthc Policy 2018 Mar 26;11:45-53. eCollection 2018. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

Multiple drug intolerance syndrome and multiple drug allergy syndrome: epidemiology and associations with anxiety and depression. Blumenthal KG, Li Y, Acker WW, et al. Allergy 2018 Oct;73(10):2012-23. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

The economic value of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae Toolkit. Bartsch SM, Huang SS, McKinnell JA, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol  2018 May;39(5):516-24. Epub 2018 Mar 19. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

Are the London Declaration's 2020 goals sufficient to control Chagas disease?: modeling scenarios for the Yucatan Peninsula. Lee BY, Bartsch SM, Skrip L, et al. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 Mar 19;12(3):e0006337. eCollection 2018 Mar. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

Simulating variation in families' spending across marketplace plans. Zhang Y, Baik SH, Zuvekas SH. Health Serv Res 2018 Aug;53(4):2285-2302. Epub 2018 Feb 14. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

Thematic analysis of women's perspectives on the meaning of safety during hospital-based birth. Lyndon A, Malana J, Hedli LC, et al. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 2018 May;47(3):324-32. Epub 2018 Mar 16. Access the abstract on Pubmed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed June 2019
Page originally created June 2019
Internet Citation: Newly Insured Medicaid Patients in Oregon Receive Fewer Opioid Prescriptions. Content last reviewed June 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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