Correlates of Opioid Dispensing

By Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu

December 24, 2018 Related Topics: Physician Dispensing, Prescription Drugs and Opioids

This study identifies characteristics of injured workers and their employers that are associated with differences in opioid dispensing rates. For example, this study finds that injured workers in certain industries are more likely to receive opioids on a chronic basis. This information might be useful in setting priorities for targeting special interventions to reduce inappropriate opioid prescriptions.

This study focuses on the following characteristics:

  • worker (age, gender)
  • injury (type of injury)
  • industry (industry group and employer’s payroll size)
  • location (county-level opioid dispensing rate, urban-rural classification, and health insurance coverage rate)

The data used for this analysis included 1.4 million pain medication prescriptions filled within 18 months postinjury for injuries that occurred between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2015, in 27 states. The states are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Correlates of Opioid Dispensing. Vennela Thumula and Te-Chun Liu. December 2018. WC-18-48.

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Research Questions:

  • In what industries were injured workers more likely to receive opioids when receiving a prescription for pain medication?
  • Does location of the injured worker have an impact on the likelihood of receiving opioids?
  • What role did workers age and gender have on opioid dispensing rates?
  • How does the type of injury impact the likelihood of receiving opioid prescriptions?

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