Differences Within Practices in Opioid-Prescribing Patterns of Orthopedic Surgeons and in Subsequent Rates of Chronic Opioid Use, 2012–2014
Chronic opioid use, to which physician opioid-prescribing behavior may contribute, is associated with overdose and death.1, 2 Prior research has found that higher opioid-prescribing intensity among physicians in the same emergency department is associated with greater chronic opioid use.3 Whether a similar relationship holds for surgeons within the same practice for common outpatient surgical procedures, such as arthroscopic meniscectomies, is unknown.
I performed analyses using 2011–2014 claims data for a random 20% sample of Medicare beneficiaries. I identified arthroscopic meniscectomies performed on beneficiaries aged 65 and over who were continuously enrolled in Medicare Parts A, B, and D for at least 6 months before the procedure and at least 12 months after who did not have a hospice claim or cancer diagnosis during this time interval.3Consistent with prior literature on surgical patients, I excluded patients with 7 or more days of opioids supplied in the...
KEY WORDSopioids orthopedic surgery chronic opioid use
The author wishes to thank Samantha L. Burn for helpful comments on the paper.
This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging (Grant F32 AG060650-01).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that he does not have a conflict of interest.
No funding source played a role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Dan P. Ly had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
- 2.Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Coordinating Committee. Addressing prescription drug abuse in the United States: current activities and future opportunities. 2014. Accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/hhs_prescription_drug_abuse_report_09.2013.pdf on 12 October 2018.
- 4.Brat GA, Agniel D, Beam A, Yorkgitis B, Bicket M, Homer M, et al. Postsurgical prescriptions for opioid naïve patients and association with overdose and misuse: retrospective cohort study. BMJ. 2018;360:j5790.Google Scholar