Wollschlaeger BA, Willson TM, Montejano LB, Ronquest NA, Nadipelli VR. Characteristics and treatment patterns of US commercially insured and Medicaid patients with opioid dependence or abuse. J Opioid Manag. 2017 Jul;13(4):207-20. doi: 10.5055/jom.2017.0389.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the demographic and clinical characteristics of commercially insured and Medicaid patients with a diagnosis of opioid dependence or abuse and to describe the pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments received by these patients.

DESIGN: This was a retrospective observational study using de-identified administrative claims data.

SETTING: The analysis included commercially insured and Medicaid patient data extracted from the Truven Health MarketScan® Commercial and Medicaid Databases.

PATIENTS: Patients with a diagnosis of opioid dependence or abuse from 2008 to 2014 (earliest diagnosis = index date) and a minimum of 6 months of pre-index and postindex continuous enrollment in the database.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and treatment other than MAT received following diagnosis, and the clinical practice setting in which patients received any opioid dependence-related care were reported.

Data from commercially insured (N = 103,768) and Medicaid (N = 50,552) patients were analyzed. Common comorbid conditions included chronic pain (48.6 percent Commercial, 56.8 percent Medicaid), depressive disorder (24.0 percent Commercial, 32.8 percent Medicaid), and other substance abuse disorders (13.3 percent Commercial, 23.7 percent Medicaid). Nearly one third of both Commercial (31.6 percent) and Medicaid (33.6 percent) patients did not have any claims for psychosocial therapy or MAT during the follow-up period. Only 24.3 percent of Commercial patients and 20.4 percent of Medicaid patients had evidence of claims for both MAT and psychosocial treatment anytime following diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that there are opportunities to improve care through comprehensive and coordinated treatment for opioid dependence/abuse. Policies aimed at improving treatment access may be warranted.

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