NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Private health insurance claim lines with an opioid dependence diagnosis rose 3,203 percent from 2007 to 2014 in the United States, according to data from FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information. Claim lines with a pregnancy drug dependence diagnosis, which could be attributable to opioids or other drugs, rose 511 percent.
Those are just two of the findings in the new FAIR Health white paper, The Opioid Crisis among the Privately Insured: The Opioid Abuse Epidemic as Documented in Private Claims Data. Drawing on FAIR Health's database of over 20 billion privately billed healthcare claims, the report examines the impact of the current epidemic of opioid prescription painkiller abuse and heroin use on the privately insured, one of the demographic groups most affected by the crisis. The infographic below highlights key findings.
Among overdoses from various opioid types, the greatest increase has been in heroin overdoses, which grew 510 percent from 2009 to 2014, according to FAIR Health data.
People aged 19 to 35 years show a higher propensity than other age groups for opioid-related diagnoses, according to FAIR Health data. The age group 19-35 years accounted for:
- 69 percent of claim lines for opioid dependence during the period 2007-2014;
- 50 percent of claim lines for opioid abuse (a less severe diagnosis than opioid dependence) during the period 2007-2014; and
- 78 percent of claim lines for heroin overdoses during the period 2009-2014.
Women are an increasing part of the opioid crisis:
- Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that men are more likely than women to die from prescription opioid overdose, FAIR Health data for the period 2007-2014 show that women were more likely than men to be diagnosed with opioid overdose (53 percent versus 47 percent, respectively).
- Men in all age groups are more likely than women to be diagnosed opioid dependent, but the gender gap varies by age, and appears particularly narrow in the age group 46-55 years. In the period 2007-2014, 55 percent of claims for opioid dependence in that age group were for men, compared to 45 percent for women.
- In 2014, claim lines for opioid abuse diagnosis were higher in women than men. This reversal of the usual gender pattern of opioid-related diagnoses deserves further study.
In a number of states across the country, opioid dependence was diagnosed more frequently than all other substance abuse and dependence diagnoses combined.
FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd commented, "It is in keeping with FAIR Health's mission of healthcare transparency to use our stewardship of the nation's largest database of privately billed medical and dental claims to open a window onto urgent issues of public health. We hope that our research into the opioid abuse epidemic in the privately insured population will contribute to the national conversation on this crisis."
For the full white paper, click here.
About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources and health systems research support. FAIR Health uses its database of billions of privately billed medical and dental claims to power an award-winning free consumer website and to create data products serving all healthcare stakeholders, including government officials, researchers, consumers, providers, insurers and other businesses. FAIR Health has been certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a Qualified Entity, eligible to receive all Medicare claims data for use in nationwide transparency efforts. In addition, FAIR Health's data have been designated as the official data source for a variety of state health programs, including workers' compensation and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) programs, as well as state consumer protection laws governing surprise out-of-network bills and emergency services. For more information, visit www.fairhealth.org.
Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations
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SOURCE FAIR Health