Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 377–386

Use of computer-based medicaid drug data to analyze and correct inappropriate medication use

  • Jerr Avorn
  • Stephen B. Soumerai


In an experimental controlled trial, prescribing records were obtained from the Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) of four states for all physicians participating in the Medicaid programs of those states. Three categories of drugs that are commonly misprescribed were identified, and moderate to high prescribers of these drugs were identified from the MMIS data set. These physicians were then randomly divided into three groups. One group received no intervention, the second group received an innovative series of print materials urging appropriate drug use, and a third group received the print materials and was visited by consultant pharmacists to discuss the drugs in question. Our experience suggests that use of Medicaid prescribing data can be an efficient and accurate way of conducting large-scale surveillance of misprescribing, and of targeting interventions that can improve such suboptimal drug utilization. Use of the same data set in a follow-up period can monitor the effectiveness of each mode of intervention and will measure the degree of behavior change for each physician.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Stewart, R. B., Cluff, L. E., and Philp, J. R., Drug monitoring: A requirement for responsible drug use, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1977.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Federspiel, C. F., Ray, W. A., and Schaffner, W., Medicaid records as a valid data source.Med. Care 14:166–172, 1976.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Avorn, J., and Soumerai, S., De-marketing strategies in prescription drug use.Ann. World Assn. Med. Informatics 1:13–19, 1981.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Berbatis, C. G., et al., The impact of a drug bulletin on prescribing oral analgesics.Am. J. Hosp. Pharm., (in press).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rucker, T. D., Drug information for prescribers and dispensers: Toward a model system.Med. Care 14:156–165, 1976.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerr Avorn
    • 1
  • Stephen B. Soumerai
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Harvard Medical SchoolBoston

Personalised recommendations