The study, entitled “Implementation of an Opioid Guideline Impacts on Opioid Prescriptions, Adverse Outcomes, and an Association with a State Opioid-Related Fatalities,” is published in the
Among the many findings about opioid use in
The study of WCF claimants is authored by
Opioids in Utah Before Program Implementation
The opioid crisis is apparent in every state, but
Study results show2 that the number of WCF claims with an opioid prescription decreased by 50.2 percent—from 3,061 to 1,665, or from 11.8 percent of claims to 5.9 percent. This equates to a 56.4 percent reduction of opioid pills dispensed versus prescribed, a total of more than 13,000 opioid pills.
The decrease of 13,000 pills equated to approximately 65,502 mg in MED.
Additionally, the number of days’ supply prescribed for first-fill opioids, when including denials and partial fills from post-intervention, dropped from 6.1 to 5.7 days (seven percent).
The number of post-intervention claims requiring a second opioid fill was 528—a 60.9 percent decrease from pre-intervention. The researchers suggest this may indicate that shortened duration does not adversely affect recovery, since the injured workers did not require a refill.
Interestingly, the total number of prescriptions, including non-opioid prescriptions, across all claims fell by 30.8 percent, from 18,665 to 12,909.
About the Study
According to the study, “The opioid program's goals were to increase adherence to evidence-based recommendations regarding opioid prescriptions, and ultimately to decrease the adverse effects that may result from improper opioid usage. This study's objective was to analyze and report on the evidence of efficacy of this program on outcome measures.”
The study measured the impact of a newly implemented opioid guidelines program on the first fill of an opioid prescription for acute pain claims by injured workers covered by WCF in
The program followed the
WCF and Mitchell engaged in an extensive education program for providers, patients and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition into the program.
1 “Opioid Overdoses.” Prescription Drug Overdoses | Utah Violence & Injury Prevention Program,
3 “Heroin and Prescription Opioid Overdose Deaths Decline in Utah.”