Doctors’ Individual Opioid Prescription ‘Report Cards’ Show Impact

Scott Calvert at the Wall Street Journal: “Several states, including Arizona, Kentucky and Ohio, are using their state prescription monitoring databases to send doctors individualized “report cards” that show how their prescribing of addictive opioids and other drugs compares with their peers.

“Arizona probably has the most complete one out there right now—it’s pretty impressive,” said Patrick Knue, director of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center at Brandeis University, which helps states improve their databases.

Arizona’s quarterly reports rate a doctor’s prescribing of oxycodone and certain other drugs as normal, high, severe or extreme compared with the state’s other doctors in his medical specialty.

During a two-year pilot program, the number of opiate prescriptions fell 10% in five counties while rising in other counties, said Dean Wright, former head of the state’s prescription-monitoring program. The report cards also contributed to a 4% drop in overdose deaths in the pilot counties, he said.

The state now issues the report cards statewide and in June sent notices to more than 13,000 doctors statewide. Mr. Wright said the message is clear: “Stop and think about what you’re prescribing and the impact it can have.”
The report cards list statistics such as how many of a doctor’s patients received controlled substances from five or more doctors. Elizabeth Dodge, Mr. Wright’s successor, said some doctors ask for the patients’ names—information they might have gleaned from the database….(More)”