The latest news from HCCI

For general media inquiries or to propose collaborative projects, please contact us


State Variation in Opioid Prescribing over 10 Years

Changes in opioid utilization correlated with state-level policy changes aimed at decreasing opioid prescription rates. Previous research by HCCI illustrated that national opioid utilization in pills per person fell 27% between the years of 2008 and 2017, driven by declines in the use of hydrocodone (Vicodin). In addition to giving insight into prescription opioid utilization by the commercially i...
Continue reading

Opioid Prescriptions Declined 32% for the Commercially Insured over 10 Years (2008 to 2017)

Among people who get health insurance from their employers ( 56% of the population in 2017 ), prescription opioid use peaked in 2010/2011 and declined every year from 2012 to 2017. In a new study using the Health Care Cost Institute's commercial claims data from 2008 to 2017, we observed a decline regardless of how utilization was measured . We also found that utilization trends were driven by thr...
Continue reading

Health Affairs: Assessing The Impact Of State Policies For Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs On High-Risk Opioid Prescriptions

 ABSTRACT: Policies and practices have proliferated to optimize prescribers' use of their states' prescription drug monitoring programs, which are statewide databases of controlled substances dispensed at retail pharmacies. Our study assessed the effectiveness of three such policies: comprehensive legislative mandates to use the program, laws that allow prescribers to delegate its use to offi...
Continue reading

Journal of General Internal Medicine: First Opioid Prescription and Subsequent High-Risk Opiod Use, a National Survey of Privately Insured and Medicare Advantage Adults

​ BACKGROUND : National guidelines make recommendations  regarding the initial opioid prescriptions, but most  of the supporting evidence is from the initial episode of  care, not the first prescription. OBJECTIVE : To examine associations between features of  the first opioid prescription and high-risk opioid use in the  18 months following the first prescription. DESIGN ...
Continue reading

Health Services Research: Physical Therapy as the First Point of Care to Treat Low Back Pain: An Instrumental Variables Approach to Estimate Impact on Opioid Prescription, Health Care Utilization, and Costs

 ABSTRACT Objective: To compare differences in opioid prescription, health care utilization, and costs among patients with low back pain (LBP) who saw a physical therapist (PT) at the first point of care, at any time during the episode or not at all. Data Sources: Commercial health insurance claims data, 2009–2013. Study Design: Retrospective analyses using two‐stage residual inclusion instru...
Continue reading

Doctors Lounge: Socioeconomic Factors Associated With Opioid Prescriptions

​ Among disabled Medicare beneficiaries, county-level socioeconomic factors are associated with opioid prescriptions, with more prescriptions seen with lower socioeconomic indicators, according to a study published in the January issue of Medical Care . Chao Zhou, Ph.D., from the Health Care Cost Institute in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined opioid prescriptions of disabled Medicare benef...
Continue reading

Workers in low income counties more likely to be long-term opioid users

Past literature has found links between higher opioid use and local economic conditions for people enrolled in public health programs, but there has been little discussion of whether this relationship occurs among the privately insured. Using HCCI claims data and county level income data from the US Census Bureau, we examined how a county's median household income relates to long-term opioid use a...
Continue reading