Opioid Use Disorder: Treatment Among US Medicaid Enrollees

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Julie Donohue, Ph.D., Chair and Professor
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management.
Lead, Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network

Dr. Donohue

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: Medicaid plays an incredibly important role in our health system, and the population it serves overlaps with those most likely to have opioid use disorder. But Medicaid is 50-plus separate programs that can’t easily share data, so it can be difficult to draw evidence-based conclusions about the impact of interventions to prevent and treat opioid use disorder in this population.

PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: For the first time, we’ve pooled a large part of that data, enabling us to draw powerful conclusions that could better enable our country to address the opioid epidemic, which has only grown more intense during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that the prevalence of opioid use disorder increased from 3.3% of enrollees in 2014 to 5% in 2018. Notably, the share of enrollees with opioid use disorder enrolled in Medicaid due to the ACA expansion grew from 27.3% to 50.7% in the same time period.

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