The Effects of Medicare Advantage on Opioid Use

29 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2018

See all articles by Laurence C. Baker

Laurence C. Baker

Stanford University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

M. Kate Bundorf

Stanford University - Department of Health Research and Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Daniel P. Kessler

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2018

Abstract

Despite a vast literature on the determinants of prescription opioid use, the role of health insurance plans has received little attention. We study how the form of Medicare beneficiaries’ drug coverage affects the volume of opioids they consume. We find that enrollment in Medicare Advantage, which integrates drug coverage with other medical benefits, significantly reduces beneficiaries’ likelihood of filling an opioid prescription, as compared to enrollment in a stand-alone drug plan. Approximately half of this effect was due to fewer fills from prescribers who write a very large number of opioid prescriptions.

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Suggested Citation

Baker, Laurence C. and Bundorf, M. Kate and Kessler, Daniel Philip, The Effects of Medicare Advantage on Opioid Use (December 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25327. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3298706

Laurence C. Baker (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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M. Kate Bundorf

Stanford University - Department of Health Research and Policy ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Daniel Philip Kessler

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

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Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-723-4492 (Phone)
650-725-6152 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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