New Report: Opioids in Washington State
I’m pleased to announce that the Alliance has just released a new highlight with statewide opioid prescribing rate data as part of our Different Regions, Different Care series. The highlight shows that more than 1 in 8 Washingtonians received an opioid prescription in the latest measurement year, and that prescription rates vary greatly depending on where you live in the state.
Our new and enhanced interactive dashboard lets you sort the data by Hospital Referral Region and Health Service Area, and for the first time you can view results based on payer type and see variation between the commercially and Medicaid insured populations.
This is the second time that the Alliance has produced results looking at regional variation in opioid prescribing rates by age group and gender. Since the first report, we have done considerable work to refine the methodology and coding, and we have also added new data suppliers to our database. In order to take advantage of these results, the Alliance is producing results for the last four years, which you can view in the dashboard.
The report shows that in many regions opioids continue to be prescribed at high rates, which has contributed to the large number of overdose deaths in the state. In the highlight, we provide action steps that purchasers, providers, health plans, and patients can take to each play their part in stemming the opioid epidemic.
I hope you find this new highlight useful and I welcome your feedback on how the Alliance can continue to provide actionable data and insights. Thank you for your support, encouragement and wisdom as we work together to improve the health care for citizens in our state.
Nancy A. Giunto
Washington Health Alliance
Published: November 9, 2017