CHICAGO (Aug. 8, 2016) — The number of claims made to private health insurers that include a diagnosis of opioid dependence rose by more than 3,200 percent in the past decade, according to a report released Aug. 2.
The nonprofit group FAIR Health used data gleaned from ICD-9 diagnostic codes used for insurance claim forms. Researchers found adults between ages 19 and 35 were by far the most diagnosed age group, accounting for 69 percent of claim lines for opioid dependence during the study period. The same age group composed the majority, or 78 percent, of heroin overdoses.
Heroin use among women grew by 100 percent over the time period while its use among men grew by 50 percent. While the rate of death from opioid overdose is higher among men, women were more likely to experience an opioid overdose, according to the analysis. Claim lines where the diagnosis was related to drug dependence in pregnant women rose 511 percent from 2007 to 2014.
“The current opioid crisis in the United States affects most demographic groups, including, notably, the privately insured,” the study concluded. “To resolve the crisis, participation from all healthcare stakeholders will be necessary — federal, state and local governments; insurers; employers; physicians, hospitals and other providers; researchers; community leaders; and consumers.”