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New Data Explore State Medicaid Opioid Prescribing Rates

New data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show opioid prescribing rates across state Medicaid programs in 2016 ranged from 2.9 percent to 9.4 percent, compared with the national average of 5.4 percent.

The data are available through the agency’s updated Medicaid opioid prescribing mapping tool, an interactive web resource that illustrates state-level opioid prescribing data from 2013 to 2016. The data are available in several categories: overall opioid prescribing; long-acting opioid prescribing; change in opioid prescribing; and change in long-acting opioid prescribing. These categories can be segmented by fee-for-service and managed care.

Medicaid programs with the highest overall opioid prescribing rates in 2016 were Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. However, Alaska is the only state Medicaid program to show an increase (+0.34 percent) in its overall opioid prescribing rate from 2013 to 2016.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Kelcie Jimenez is a former state policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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