The Wall Street Journal (6/29, Steele, Subscription Publication) reports a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association analysis of more than 30 million claims shows opioid use disorder diagnoses increased nearly 500% between 2010 and 2016. The analysis, which reviewed BCBS claims, also shows that patients who were prescribed high opioid doses were much more likely to develop the disorder.
NBC News (6/29, Fox) reports on its website that over one in five patients with Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance were prescribed an opioid pain medication during 2015, according to the company. In addition, “claims for opioid addiction and dependence spiked nearly six-fold between 2010 and 2016, the company said.”
Vox (6/29, Lopez) reports that the same data from Blue Cross and Blue Shield reveal “a 493 percent increase in people diagnosed with opioid use disorders from 2010 through 2016,” compared to only a 65 percent increase “in the number of people using medication-assisted treatment” during the same time period. Modern Healthcare (6/29, Livingston, Subscription Publication) also covers the story.
— “Lots of Americans Prescribed Opioids, Insurance Survey Shows,” MAGGIE FOX, NBC News, June 29, 2017.