Onpoint Joins MN & VT Clients to Participate in APCD Council’s Opioid Measurement Webinar

This past February, Onpoint staff participated in the “Opioid Epidemic Measurement” webinar hosted by the APCD Council. We had the pleasure of introducing two researchers using data from APCDs supported by Onpoint: Minnesota and Vermont.

Pamela Mink, PhD, MPH, from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), presented two related bodies of research based on recent findings from data in the MN APCD: (1) opioid prescribing patterns in the state and (2) an approach to identifying new chronic opioid users. Dr. Mink, the Director of Health Services Research in MDH’s Health Economics Program, first described trends in opioid prescribing patterns over time, breakdowns by various populations of interest, and geographic variations in prescribing patterns. The research on new chronic opioid users, which is based on definitions/measures developed by the MN Department of Human Services, focused on people who had a new prescription for opioids and the proportion of those people who became new chronic prescription opioid users. The analyses for this research were conducted by Mathematica Policy Research. The presentation (see Figure 1) is available on the APCD Council's website here.

Figure 1. Geographic variation in prescribing patterns (MN APCD)

Mary Kate Mohlman, PhD, MS, from Vermont’s Blueprint for Health, and David Jorgenson, MS, Lead Health Data Analyst at Onpoint, together presented on opioid-use disorder (OUD) treatment research conducted using the VT APCD. Dr. Mohlman, Blueprint Health Services Researcher, noted that the goal of the analysis was to understand the impact of Vermont’s policy decision to create a statewide system for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid-use disorder. The trend in the number of people with OUD was shown, broken out by the number receiving MAT versus other forms of substance use treatment. The growth in the OUD population over time was contrasted with trends showing stable or shrinking rates of total expenditures, inpatient bed days, and emergency department visits for those receiving MAT. The presentation (see Figure 2) is available on the APCD Council's website here.

Figure 2. Expenditure trends for populations with OUD (VT APCD)

A full video of the webinar is available online from the APCD Council here.