CMS Posts Update of Medicare Part D Opioid Prescribing Mapping Tool

CMS, Medicare Set-Aside Blog, Opioids on April 17, 2018
Posted by Jean S. Goldstein, JD, CMSP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated version of the Medicare Part D opioid prescribing mapping tool, providing an interactive, web-based resource that presents geographic comparisons- at the state, county, and ZIP code levels – of Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rates.  The tool allows users to understand and compare opioid prescribing at the local level, with visualization of how the opioid epidemic continues to affect the country.

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 thenumber of prescribers, as well as the change in opioid prescribing rates from 2013 to 2016.  The mapping tool does not contain beneficiary information.  Interestingly, in total for Medicare Part D, there were approximately 78 million opioid claims for 97 distinct opioid products in 2016, accounting for $4 billion in spending.  CMS indicates 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. The updated Medicare Part D Opioid Prescribing Mapping Tool can be accessed here.