Insurance-Associated Disparities in Opioid Use and Misuse Among Patients Undergoing Gynecologic Surgery for Benign Indications

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Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Aug 6. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003948. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To compare perioperative use and persistent postoperative opioid use among Medicaid-insured women and commercially insured women who underwent gynecologic surgery for benign indications.

METHODS: The Truven Health MarketScan database, a nationwide data source collecting commercial insurance claims across all states and Medicaid insurance claims from 12 states, was used to identify opioid-naïve women without cancer aged 18-64 years who underwent common gynecologic surgeries from 2012 to 2016 and filled a prescription for an opioid perioperatively. Persistent opioid use was defined as filling an opioid prescription 90-180 days after the surgery. Opioid use disorder (OUD) was defined as hospitalizations or emergency department visits for opioid dependence, misuse, or overdose. Multivariable models were developed to examine the insurance-associated disparity in persistent opioid use and OUD.

RESULTS: A total of 31,155 Medicaid-insured women and 270,716 commercially insured women were identified. Medicaid-insured women received greater quantities of opioids and for longer durations than did commercially insured women. Persistent postoperative opioid use was identified in 14.1% of Medicaid-insured women and 5.8% of commercially insured women (P<.001). More opioid prescriptions filled, longer days supplied, and higher total doses perioperatively contributed most to the prediction of persistent opioid use. Medicaid-insured patients who persistently used opioids were two times more likely to develop OUD than commercially insured patients (16.8% vs 5.1% adjusted relative risk 1.99; 99% CI 1.26-3.15).

CONCLUSION: Medicaid-insured women received larger quantities of opioids perioperatively, were more likely to use them persistently, and were more likely to develop OUD than commercially insured women.

PMID:32769642 | DOI:10.1097/AOG.0000000000003948