Evaluating short- and long-term impacts of a Medicaid "lock-in" program on opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions dispensed to beneficiaries.
BACKGROUND: Insurance-based "lock-in" programs (LIPs) have become a popular strategy to address controlled substance (CS) (e.g., opioid) misuse. However, little is known about their impacts. We examined changes in CS dispensing to beneficiaries in the 12-month North Carolina Medicaid LIP. METHODS: We analyzed Medicaid claims linked to Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) records for beneficiaries enrolled in the LIP between October 2010 and September 2012 (n=2702). Outcomes of interest were 1) number of dispensed CS prescriptions and 2) morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) of dispensed opioids while a) locked-in and b) in the year following release. RESULTS: Compared to a period of stable CS dispensed prior to LIP enrollment, numbers of dispensed CS during lock-in and post-release were lower (count difference per person-month: -0.05 (95% CI: -0.11, 0.01); -0.23 (95% CI: -0.31, -0.15), respectively). However, beneficiaries' average daily MMEs of opioids were elevated during both lock-in and post-release (daily mean difference per person: 18.7 (95% CI: 13.9, 23.6); 11.1 (95% CI: 5.1, 17.1), respectively). Stratification by payer source revealed increases in using non-Medicaid (e.g., out-of-pocket) payment during lock-in that persisted following release. CONCLUSION: While the LIP reduced the number of CS dispensed, the program was also associated with increased acquisition of CS prescriptions using non-Medicaid payment. Moreover, beneficiaries acquired greater dosages of dispensed opioids from both Medicaid and non-Medicaid payment sources during lock-in and post-release. Refining LIPs to increase beneficiary access to substance use disorder screening and treatment services and provider use of PDMPs may address important unintended consequences.
Naumann, RB; Marshall, SW; Lund, JL; Gottfredson, NC; Ringwalt, CL; Skinner, AC
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