Better Data

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HHS is supporting more timely, specific public health data and reporting, including through accelerating CDC’s reporting of drug overdose data.

In March 2018, CDC released data on Opioid Overdoses Treated in Emergency Departments from July 2016 through September 2017. CDC also calculates monthly provisional data on counts of drug overdose deaths as a rapid response to the public health crisis in order to provide a more accurate, closer to “real-time” look at what is occurring both nationally and at the state level.

In August 2017, CDC released the first “Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes – United States,” covering the latest data available on rates of opioid prescribing, substance use disorder, nonfatal hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and overdose deaths.

CDC has awarded millions of dollars in funding to 44 states and the District of Columbia to support “Enhanced State Surveillance of Opioid- Involved Morbidity and Mortality” and “Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States.”

HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) held an unprecedented national opioids code-a-thon, bringing together 50 teams of data experts and computer scientists to derive insights and solutions for the epidemic from HHS data sets, some brought together for the very first time.

CMS released an updated version of the Medicare opioid prescription mapping tool. The tool is an interactive, web-based resource that visually presents opioid prescribing rates within Medicare Part D by geography. Communities can use the tool to help understand regional variation, target resources, and develop solutions for the opioid crisis.

AHRQ is increasing the evidence base with data and research and provides a forum where communities can share their tools for combating the issue of opioid misuse. Using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), they have added 2017 data to its interactive query tool known as “Fast Stats,” including inpatient data for 44 states and emergency department data for 30 states. AHRQ also created an interactive map showing trends in opioid-related hospitalizations, allowing state-by-state comparisons as well as county- and region-level statistics.