OHSU researchers say Medicaid claims data reveal lost opportunities to save lives and reverse national opioid epidemic
Despite a national opioid overdose epidemic supercharged by a surge of illicit fentanyl, new research from Oregon Health & Science University reveals wide discrepancies among U.S. states in effectively treating opioid use disorder among people covered by Medicaid.
The study, published today in the journal JAMA Health Forum, found that in many states, fewer than half of people diagnosed with opioid use disorder received proven medications to treat it.
“We fail people by not providing adequate treatment to people with opioid use disorder enrolled in Medicaid”
– Lead author Stephan Lindner, Ph.D., associate professor in the OHSU Center for Health Systems Effectiveness.
Medicaid provides health care coverage to more than 90 million Americans. Evidence strongly suggests that medication should be nearly universal treatment for people with opioid use disorder, said co-author Dennis McCarty, Ph.D., professor emeritus of public health in the OHSU School of Medicine and the OHSU-Portland State University School of Public Health.
The study documented wide variability in access to medication for opioid use disorder.
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