Presentation Recap: OUD: Are We Getting the Care to Those Who Need It?

June 17, 2021 · NCQA Communications

Good News: Lots of attention being paid to making evidence-based care available for opioid use disorder. However, we know very little about whether all the health needs are met for this high-risk population.

Quality of Preventive and Chronic Care for Insured Adults with Opioid Use DisorderA recent report titled “Quality of Preventive and Chronic Care for Insured Adults with Opioid Use Disorder” investigated these gaps in care for those suffering from OUD. Led by Dr. Caleb Alexander, the group compared commercially insured and Medicare Advantage enrollees diagnosed for OUD in 2018 or 2019 with individuals without OUD.

Overall, using standardized measures of preventive care, chronic illness care, and care coordination, insured adults with OUD received lower-quality care than those without OUD.  Interestingly, sociodemographic factors didn’t seem to have a significant impact on quality in this study, but type of insurance did. Medicare Advantage patients scored higher that those with commercial insurance on measures of preventive and chronic illness care but worse on measures of care coordination.

This study highlights gaps in comprehensive whole-person care for individuals with OUD. As the field continues to identify opportunities to improve OUD care access and outcomes, it is critical that non-OUD health indicators and measures of whole-person care be included in the conversation. Research now should turn towards figuring out, on an institutional level, what aspects of the clinical and delivery systems are failing these individuals and how delivery systems can promote improved care quality for those with OUD.

See the abstract for Quality of Preventive and Chronic Care for Insured Adults with Opioid Use Disorder to learn more.

This study was one four studies NCQA staff presented at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. Others were:

The primary source of funding for this study was from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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