Last week we introduced the new CMS opioid data set and what it means. This data tries to initiate transparency around this hot topical area even though Part D Medicare claims may not be the best proxy of all opioid prescription activity. There are three elements to this data:

  • Part D opiod claims are compared to all Part D claims on a county and zip code basis to come up with a prescribing rate. The national average for this rate is 5.7%. There is some high variation with rural counties with many counties carrying rates above 10%.


  • Extended release opioid claims are compared to all opoid claims to come up with an extended release rate. Extended release medications have shown to have some effect at reducing both intentional and accidental overdose. The extended release to opioid national rate was 6.4%. There is also lower rate variation to this data and the rates are more evenly split between urban and rural counties.

  • Medicare opioid providers are compared to the total number of Medicare providers to come up with a provider ratio. The national average is 46.9%.

The Opioid Prescribing Rate Interactive gives a rapid analysis of this data down to individual counties and zip codes. It is automatically available to subscribers as part of our growing Community Health library.  We also provided a free Interactive for you to do some preliminary analysis on a state by state basis. The full Interactive provides zip code level analysis and the extended release and provider analysis.  












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