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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

CMS Announces Availability of New Medicare Part D Opioid Drug Mapping Tool

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In the midst of a national opioid epidemic, a new tool from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allows providers to track the number of opioid prescription claims in their communities, counties and states.  The tool – The Opioid Heat Map – shows local level data of de-identified Medicare Part D opioid prescription claims, comparing it to data across the country. With this new tool, providers will now be able to see real time Medicare data on the prescription of opioids across the country.

Specifically, for each region, the tool provides data on:

  • Percentage of opioid claims;
  • State average;
  • National average;
  • Total providers;
  • Total opioid claims; and
  • Total claims

The tool was developed in response to the increasing amount of deaths each year related to drug overdose for both opioid-based pain relievers and from illicit drugs like heroin. CMS noted that “in 2013, overdose from prescription opioid pain relievers claimed more than 16,000 lives, with more than 145,000 people dying from these overdoses in the last decade.”