Opioid prescription patterns among urologists as compiled from within Medicare
Keywords:opioid, narcotics, analgesics, pain management, Medicare
Introduction: We aimed to evaluate opioid prescribing patterns of urologists across the United States (U.S.) and the District of Columbia (D.C.) using publicly available data from Medicare Part D. Our secondary analysis was to identify any loco-regional trends that may exist within the U.S.
Methods: We queried publicly reported information from the Part D prescriber database, which is compiled from beneficiaries enrolled within the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Only providers with the specialty description of urologist were included in this study.
Results: Between 2013 and 2017, a five-year average of 452 901 opioid claims by 9640 urologists — amounting to $5 357 114 USD and comprising 3.78% of all claims made — were identified. The state of Maine featured the highest percentage of opioid claims in relation to all claims (5.81%). West Virginia had the greatest average total opioid claims per provider (90), while Michigan featured the highest average proportion of opioid claims per provider (10.63%). The fewest opioid claims were processed within the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.
Conclusions: A multitude of factors likely contributes to variability between states. Urologists should be increasingly aware of their individual prescription tendencies and use available drug monitoring programs to reduce unnecessary prescriptions, all while providing more targeted and appropriate pain management.
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