Home Feature Stories 54 Okla. Counties with High Opioid Rx Rates Among Medicare Beneficiaries

54 Okla. Counties with High Opioid Rx Rates Among Medicare Beneficiaries

SHARE

Oklahoma’s population of Medicare Part C and Part D beneficiaries had the fourth highest opioid prescription rate among states in 2015.  Of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, 54 counties had an opioid prescription rate higher than the national average among Part D and Part C beneficiaries in 2015.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 30, 2017, unveiled an interactive mapping tool showing opioid prescription claim rates by state, county and zip code.  The interactive map reveals the opioid prescription rate (the percentage of opioid claims out of total prescription claims).

According to CMS, approximately 70% of Medicare beneficiaries have prescription drug coverage either through a Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDPs) or Part C Plans (Medicare Advantage Plans).  The interactive mapping tool is designed to show “hot spots” or clusters in states and counties where higher than average opioid prescription claims are submitted.  The identity of beneficiaries and information unique to beneficiaries is not included in the database.

The national average of opioid prescriptions in 2015 was 5.52% of 1.4 billion claims.  Only 23 Oklahoma counties have rates equal to or lower than the national average of 5.52%, with the remaining 54 Oklahoma counties having opioid prescription claim rates higher than 5.52%.  Twenty-seven counties have an opioid prescription rate above 7%; fourteen counties have rates above 8%; seven counties exceed 9% and three counties exceed a 10% rate.

Counties claiming the 15 highest opioid prescription rates among Part D and Part C beneficiaries include the following counties:  Lincoln (13.06%), Cotton (12%), Choctaw (10.11%), Pittsburg (9.94%), Latimer (9.78%), Beckham (9.04%), Osage (9.01%), Adair (8.88%), Murray (8.80%), Cherokee (8.78%), Tulsa (8.46%), Comanche (8.44%), Creek (8.36%), Bryan (8.04%) and Oklahoma (7.98%).

The opioid prescription rates among counties were compared by Senior Legal News with the 2016 unemployment rates among Oklahoma counties which revealed no correlation with unemployment rates in Oklahoma counties.  Senior Legal News also compared the opioid prescription rates with the 2016 population of 65 and older Medicare beneficiaries by county which revealed no apparent correlation. Both comparisons are imperfect due to the two different date parameters (2015 vs. 2016).

In addition to the mapping tool, CMS makes its data available by download in CSV files which permit sorting of data using programs such as Microsoft Excel.

Below is a complete list of the counties and their respective percentages.

County
2015 Part C&D Opioid Rx Rate (%)
2016 Unempl. Rate (%)
2016 65+ Pop.
Lincoln
13.06
5.3
5,510
Cotton
12.00
4.9
1,000
Choctaw
10.11
7.8
2,615
Pittsburg
9.94
6.3
7,405
Latimer
9.78
8.8
1,870
Beckham
9.04
7.5
2,875
Osage
9.01
5.8
7,230
Adair
8.88
6.0
3,050
Murray
8.80
4.5
2,340
Cherokee
8.78
5.6
6,760
Tulsa
8.46
4.7
82,005
Comanche
8.44
4.7
13,080
Creek
8.36
5.9
11,505
Bryan
8.04
4.4
6,720
Oklahoma
7.98
4.3
91,370
Johnston
7.97
5.9
1,815
Carter
7.88
5.2
7,560
Grady
7.83
5.0
7,385
Stephens
7.83
9.7
7,810
Pottawatomie
7.39
4.7
10,615
Payne
7.35
3.8
8,805
Mayes
7.21
5.2
6,780
Caddo
7.19
5.4
4,535
Cleveland
7.16
3.9
31,505
Muskogee
7.03
5.5
11,070
Love
7.00
3.2
1,715
Sequoyah
7.00
6.3
6,760
Woods
6.73
3.3
1,370
Le Flore
6.71
7.0
7,600
McCurtain
6.67
7.2
5,240
Greer
6.63
7.5
990
Jefferson
6.56
7.2
1,165
Pawnee
6.54
6.7
2,910
Harmon
6.46
3.9
470
Jackson
6.44
4.5
3,290
Delaware
6.37
5.0
7,965
Cimarron
6.30
2.5
505
Wagoner
6.29
4.8
10,700
Garvin
6.22
5.4
4,695
Ottawa
6.21
5.1
6,030
Kingfisher
6.20
3.4
2,295
Roger Mills
6.20
5.2
585
Tillman
6.13
4.5
1,265
Logan
6.11
4.1
6,010
Kiowa
6.01
5.4
1,715
Atoka
5.92
6.7
2,240
Washington
5.91
4.9
9,240
McClain
5.89
4.2
5,535
Coal
5.86
7.5
875
Woodward
5.85
6.3
2,820
Canadian
5.69
4.0
15,480
McIntosh
5.66
9.0
4,440
Kay
5.58
6.4
7,885
Texas
5.55
3.5
2,135
Haskell
5.44
8.4
2,315
Okmulgee
5.38
7.2
6,620
Hughes
5.27
7.5
2,360
Nowata
5.26
6.2
1,900
Custer
5.14
4.7
3,555
Seminole
5.02
7.1
3,850
Pushmataha
4.96
7.6
2,315
Garfield
4.92
4.3
9,000
Rogers
4.81
5.1
13,595
Major
4.75
4.2
1,380
Beaver
4.65
3.2
860
Blaine
4.33
3.8
1,660
Okfuskee
4.28
6.2
1,845
Craig
4.13
4.9
2,660
Marshall
4.11
5.1
2,935
Dewey
4.06
4.1
880
Harper
3.86
3.9
620
Grant
3.74
3.3
840
Washita
3.54
7.2
1,730
Noble
3.49
3.7
1,905
Pontotoc
3.28
4.1
5,800
Ellis
3.21
3.9
735
Alfalfa
2.54
3.4
935

SLN Sources:  Medicare Part D Opioid Prescribing Mapping Tool; U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Statistics – Unemployment Rates by County; Social Security Administration, Research, Statistics & Policy Analysis (65+ Population by County).