CMS Posts Medicare Part D Opioid Prescribing Mapping Tool Update
April 2018 ~
CMS has released an updated version of its Medicare Part D opioid prescribing mapping tool. The interactive mapping tool presents Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rates for 2016 as well as the change in opioid prescribing rates from 2013 to 2016 and shows geographic comparisons, at the state, county, and ZIP code levels, of de-identified Medicare Part D opioid prescription claims – prescriptions written and then submitted to be filled (within the United States).
According to CMS, the mapping tool allows the user to see both the number and percentage of opioid claims at the local level in order to compare and gain better understanding as to how this critical issue impacts communities nationwide. CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) state that by openly sharing data in a secure, broad, and interactive way, this level of transparency will inform community awareness among providers and local public health officials.
The updated version of the mapping tool shows Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rates with darker areas representing higher opioid prescribing rates and lighter areas representing lower prescribing rates. The map also shows the national opioid prescribing rate, the number of claims, and the number of prescribers, as well as the change in opioid prescribing rates from 2013 to 2016.
The mapping tool does not contain beneficiary information nor does the information presented in this tool indicate the quality or appropriateness of care provided by individual physicians or in a given geographic region. CMS states that approximately 70% of Medicare beneficiaries have Medicare prescription drug coverage either from a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan offering Medicare prescription drug coverage. In 2016, Medicare Part D spending was $146 billion; U.S. retail prescription drug spending was about $329 billion, according to the agency.