To identify geographic disparities in access to opioid use disorder () treatment medications and county demographic and economic characteristics associated with access to buprenorphine and oral naltrexone prescribers in Medicare Part D.
We utilized data from the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Event Standard Analytic File (2010‐2015).
Data Sources/Study Setting
We used logistic regression to examine county‐level access to medication prescribers.
There was a 5.6 percentage point increase in counties with access to an prescriber over the study period. However, in 2015, 60 percent of counties lacked access to a Medicare Part D buprenorphine prescriber and over 75 percent lacked access to an oral naltrexone prescriber. Increased access to prescribers was largely concentrated in urban counties. Results of logistic regression indicate regional differences and potential racial disparities in access to prescribers.
To improve access to buprenorphine and naltrexone treatment for Medicare Part D enrollees, may consider implementing educational and training initiatives focused on treatment, offering training to obtain a buprenorphine waiver at no cost to providers, and sending targeted information to providers in low treatment capacity areas.
Study Design/Data Collection