Opioid use by Medicare patients varies by state

AP News
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Posted: Jun 22, 2016 12:24 PM

Nearly one-third of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries received at least one prescription for commonly abused opioids last year with a striking variation in use from state to state, according to a federal report released Wednesday. The proportion of beneficiaries getting opioids varied from 21 percent in New York and Hawaii to 42 percent in Alabama. Here's a look at how many Medicare beneficiaries in the Part D prescription drug program had prescriptions for opioids such as OxyContin.

State Percentage of beneficiaries
Ala. 42
Miss. 41
Tenn. 40
Okla. 39
Ark. 39
Alaska 39
Ky. 38
La. 37
Ore. 36
Ga. 36
S.C. 36
Nev. 36
Idaho 36
W.Va. 35
Utah 35
Wash. 35
N.C. 35
Ind. 35
Mich. 34
Mo. 34
Ariz. 34
Kan. 33
Wyo. 33
Mont. 32
Colo. 32
Va. 32
N.M. 31
Ohio 31
Wis. 29
Calif. 29
Fla. 28
Del. 28
Texas 28
D.C. 28
Pa. 28
Maine 28
Md. 28
Neb. 27
Ill. 27
Iowa 27
N.H. 27
Minn. 27
S.D. 26
Mass. 25
N.D. 25
R.I. 25
Vt. 24
Conn. 24
N.J. 23
N.Y. 21
Hawaii 21

Source: Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.