Part-D Medicare Prescriptions For Opioids in KY By Zip Code – 2013 (Test)

Map of Opioid Prescriptions to Part-D Medicare Beneficiaries in 2013 by Zip Code.

View a larger version of CMS Opioids KY Zip Codes 2013 created with eSpatial mapping software.

This is a test post. I want to see what the graphics look like when actually on-line. I do not expect to leave it up as it is for long.

For those who get to see it, the dataset used is the same as used by CMS in their own on-line mapping application that I recently wrote about.  I added a calculated field of the number of Rx in a given Zip Code area divided by the number of prescribers in that area (average Opioid Rx per Prescriber).  Data is mapped for 329 Zip codes. For 38 of these, the number of prescriptions written is below the minimum reported by CMS to protect patient confidentiality. On the map, these show up as uncolored areas. Recall that the Zip code is that of the prescriber and not the patient, but these correlate fairly well.

The map is quite interactive. Play with it and tell me what you think. It provides considerable flexibility such as filtering for the outliers, or superimposing flags for individual prescribers– not just averages. I think such maps can be very useful for policy-makers, health professionals, and law enforcement officials.

I am grateful to the folks at eSpatial for allowing me to explore this trial of their product.

Peter Hasselbacher, MD

2 thoughts on “Part-D Medicare Prescriptions For Opioids in KY By Zip Code – 2013 (Test)”

  1. This map is fascinating! I would also be interested to see the volume of opioids overlaid with the number of prescribers. That might show that the prescribing practice is prevalent in the county or if a small number of prescribers is driving the volume. Hope your trial isn’t over!

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