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High-risk Prescribing Following Surgery Among Payer Types for Patients on Chronic Opioids.

Sharif L, Gunaseelan V, Lagisetty P, Bicket M, Waljee J, Englesbe M, Brummett CM. High-risk Prescribing Following Surgery Among Payer Types for Patients on Chronic Opioids. Annals of surgery. 2023 Dec 1; 278(6):1060-1067.

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OBJECTIVE: Among those on chronic opioids, to determine whether patients with Medicaid coverage have higher rates of high-risk opioid prescribing following surgery compared with patients on private insurance. BACKGROUND: Following surgery, patients on chronic opioids experience gaps in transitions of care back to their usual opioid prescriber, but differences by payer type are not well understood. This study aimed to analyze how new high-risk opioid prescribing following surgery compares between Medicaid and private insurance. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study through the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative, perioperative data from 70 hospitals across Michigan were linked to prescription drug monitoring program data. Patients with either Medicaid or private insurance were compared. The outcome of interest was new high-risk prescribing, defined as a new occurrence of: overlapping opioids or benzodiazepines, multiple prescribers, high daily doses, or long-acting opioids. Data were analyzed using multivariable regressions and a Cox regression model for return to usual prescriber. RESULTS: Among 1435 patients, 23.6% (95% CI: 20.3%-26.8%) with Medicaid and 22.7% (95% CI: 19.8%-25.6%) with private insurance experienced new, postoperative high-risk prescribing. New multiple prescribers was the greatest contributing factor for both payer types. Medicaid insurance was not associated with higher odds of high-risk prescribing (odds ratio: 1.067, 95% CI: 0.813-1.402). CONCLUSIONS: Among patients on chronic opioids, new high-risk prescribing following surgery was high across payer types. This highlights the need for future policies to curb high-risk prescribing patterns, particularly in vulnerable populations that are at risk of greater morbidity and mortality.

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