BALTIMORE, May 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AmeritoxSM, a national leader in medication monitoring solutions, today presented new research demonstrating that the rate of illicit substance abuse differs by patients' insurance type. Ameritox presented this data at the annual scientific meeting of the American Pain Society.
In reviewing more than 450,000 unique patient samples collected nationwide over almost three years, Ameritox determined that the rate at which chronic pain patients used illicit substances declines with age, is different between sexes and varies considerably by payer type.
An examination of illicit substance detection by payer type revealed the most significant findings. Tests paid for by Medicaid showed use of an illicit substance more than 16 percent of the time. When paid for by commercial insurance, workers' compensation or Medicare, the detection rate for illicit substances was cut by nearly half.
The Ameritox data also revealed that more than 22 percent of patients ages 10-19 with a prescription opioid medication tested positive for an illicit substance, most often marijuana or cocaine. Illicit drug use declined in each decade of life thereafter. The data also showed that illicit substances were detected in male patients more often than female patients: 13.1 percent among men and 8.2 percent among women.
In a separate presentation to the American Pain Society, Ameritox unveiled additional research focused on potential adherence specifically to hydrocodone. More than 180,000 unique patient samples analyzed over the same period of nearly three years were likely nonadherent to hydrocodone therapy in more than a quarter of all cases. The rate of potential adherence was just above 71 percent, with women showing a slightly better rate of potential adherence than men.
As with the data on illicit substance abuse, data was also made available on the difference between potential adherence and payers. Tests paid for by Medicaid were likely nonadherent more than 36 percent of the time. No other payer method registered a rate of potential nonadherence above 30 percent.
Ameritox's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Smith said that this research can help clinicians better tailor treatment for chronic pain patients. "Though medication monitoring decisions should always be specific to the individual patient, this information could help provide a better understanding of overall risk factors for illicit substance use," Smith said. "Medication monitoring provides crucial insights on how patient behavior may be impacting their course of treatment."
Ameritox helped pioneer the prescription drug monitoring necessary to address the national epidemic of prescription drug misuse, abuse and diversion. As a trusted leader in medication monitoring, Ameritox provides medical and business professionals with health care solutions that can help improve patient care and prevent tragedy. Ameritox, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., has laboratory facilities in Greensboro, N.C.
Contact: Lon Wagner
Director of Communications, Ameritox
30 Point Strategies