“In one of the first looks at privately insured patients with opioid problems, researchers paint a grim picture: Medical services for people with opioid dependence diagnoses skyrocketed more than 3,000% between 2007 and 2014.
The study considers a huge cohort of people who either have job-based insurance or buy coverage on their own. Its findings illustrate that the opioid problem is “in the general mainstream,” said Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, a nonprofit databank corporation focused on health care cost transparency and insurance information. “Is the health system preparing for this tsunami of services?” she said.
The researchers used de-identified claims data from insurers representing 150 million patients, looking for diagnosis codes related to opioid dependency and abuse, adverse effects of heroin use, and problems caused by the misuse or abuse of other types of opiates.
The report summary can be accessed at: http://atforum.com/wp-content/uploads/GrandRoundsNewsletterVol2.pdf
Source: Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News published in Integrated Behavioral Health Grand Rounds. A quarterly newsletter for the health care professional October – December 2016.