Does Algorithmic Risk Assessment Affect Physician Prescribing? Understanding Aggregate Versus Micro-Level Impacts

37 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2024

See all articles by Emma Boswell Dean

Emma Boswell Dean

University of Miami

Mallick Hossain

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Daniel Kaliski

University of London

Abstract

Multiple states use algorithmic risk scores to combat the opioid epidemic, but their overall impact remains unclear. Using national and Florida administrative data, we find the null effects of these risk scores’ adoption in the aggregate masks heterogeneous effects across patient groups. Our findings are consistent with a simple theoretical model where physicians rely more strongly on external signals of risk for new patients. Furthermore, physicians increased prescribing for opioid-naïve patients while decreasing prescribing for patients with a history of safe opioid use, possibly increasing overdose risk and reducing effective pain management.

Note:

Funding Information: No funding was obtained for this study.

Conflict of Interests: All three study authors (Emma Boswell Dean, E. Mallick Hossain, and Daniel Kaliski) have no competing interests relevant to this study.

Ethical Approval: Study was approved by the IRB of University of Miami, Approval Number 20190631

Keywords: opioids, algorithms, overdose risk scores, physician behavior, Medicaid

Suggested Citation

Boswell Dean, Emma and Hossain, Mallick and Kaliski, Daniel, Does Algorithmic Risk Assessment Affect Physician Prescribing? Understanding Aggregate Versus Micro-Level Impacts. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4728112 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4728112

Emma Boswell Dean (Contact Author)

University of Miami ( email )

Mallick Hossain

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Daniel Kaliski

University of London ( email )

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