• An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Extended-Release Naltrexone

      Hochheimer, Martin; Sacco, Paul; Unick, George Jay; 0000-0001-6644-4841 (2022)
      Medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (MOUDs) are considered the gold standard form of treatment for this condition. There are two forms of MOUD treatment, agonist, and antagonist. Agonist treatment has the medical system provide people with opioid use disorder methadone or buprenorphine which are long lasting opioids that do not produce a euphoric reaction with the goal of alleviating cravings and mitigating illicit use of opioids. Conversely, antagonist treatment blocks opioid absorption in the brain. Extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) is the most common antagonist treatment it is administered as a once-monthly injection. During the month after injection, patients who use opioids will not experience their effect and by negating the reward of opioid use the treatment discourages continued use. This study evaluated the effectiveness of buprenorphine and XR-NTX treatment on three characteristics: treatment retention, risk of opioid related acute care incidents, and changes in healthcare costs during treatment. Data from the Truven Health MarketScan® databases which records the date, type of interaction, and cost of every interaction that a person insured privately with one of over 250 insurance providers has with the healthcare system was used to identify a sample of approximately 30,000 people who were treated with buprenorphine or and 617 who were treated with XR-NTX for opioid use disorder. Treatment episodes were constructed based on filled prescription information and a frailty model survival analysis was fit both to a matched sample and the whole sample to length of treatment for each medication. The risk of acute care incidents was evaluated using a generalized estimating equation, and healthcare costs were evaluated using fixed-effects regression models. The study found that there are no significant differences in treatment retention between the MOUDS. Treatment with either medication was associated with an approximately 10% reduction, per day in treatment, of the odds of experiencing an acute care incident during one month. Healthcare costs increased while people were in treatment, with either MOUD, between approximately 0.85% and 1.5% for both opioid related and non-opioid related services.
    • Firearm Injuries in Maryland, 2005-2014: Trends, Recidivism, and Costs

      THURMAN, PAUL; Johantgen, Mary E.; 0000-00022134-8415 (2018)
      Background: Violent injuries related to firearms are common in the U.S., whether accidental or intentional. Restrictions on use of Federal dollars for research on injury prevention involving firearms has limited our knowledge of how firearm injury impacts the health care system. The objectives of this study are to characterize firearm injuries (FI) in Maryland, quantify recidivism, and to describe hospital treatment and their associated costs for Maryland. Methods: ED and inpatient hospital records utilizing E codes consistent with FI were linked across visits to create unique cases from 2005-2014. Recidivism was defined as any subsequent ED visit or hospitalization for FI. The relationship of social determinants of health derived from US Census data to the rate of FI hospitalization by zip code were examined with generalized linear models, as were FI associated hospital costs. Results: Those with a FI are primarily single young black males, with overall hospitalizations decreasing over the time period. While 9% died in their initial FI, recidivism occurred in 3% of the individuals. Personal Disadvantaged (IRR = 1.13) and Working Disadvantaged (IRR = 1.04) factors were associated with increased rates of FI within zip codes. Hospital costs were significantly predicted by being self-pay/charitable and injury severity, with estimated mean costs for one FI of $47,364. In 2013, FI hospitalizations totaled $14m, of which 25% (n=129) accounted for over $10m. Discussion and Implications: FI hospitalizations are decreasing and are increasingly linked to social determinants of health, which require multifaceted interventions with short term goals of interrupting ongoing violence and long-term goals of preventing future violence. The states are absorbing much of the health cost burden. Further research is needed, which should include developing a registry linking hospitalizations, deaths, and crime data that can be used to evaluate trends and effectiveness of interventions.