January 12, 2018

Data vs. Drugs

Claims Management
, Cost Containment
, Pharmacy

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, often meaning misuse of opioids and contributing to what has become an opioid epidemic in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stressed the importance of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) among state-level interventions to combat the epidemic. According to the CDC's website, a PDMP “is an electronic database that tracks controlled substance prescriptions in a state. PDMPs can provide health authorities timely information about prescribing and patient behaviors that contribute to the epidemic and facilitate a nimble and targeted response.”

Similarly, a new technology from Speedtrack, an information technology and services company, recently released Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data on their Guided Information Access platform. The platform translates difficult to use data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development into information that is comprehendible.

California healthcare organizations are taking initiative by implementing platforms like the one from Speedtrack into their strategy to fight opioids. The addition of CMS data can reveal trends among opioid users such as the location of opioid providers and the physicians who prescribe the highest levels of opioids. These platforms are hoped to be valuable tools to help explore the opioid epidemic and improve patient safety.