Econometrica’s Drive to Reduce Opioid Deaths

Econometrica’s Drive to Reduce Opioid Deaths

HRSA’s Value of Poison Centers for Medicare Beneficiaries: Measuring the Impact of Poison Center Consultations Contract Awarded in 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that on average 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. With the number of opioid-involved deaths continuing to increase in the United States, it is time for healthcare members to mobilize with speed and efficiency to help reduce opioid deaths.

Over the past 20 years, Econometrica has worked on several projects preparing us to battle the opioid crisis. In 2014, Econometrica worked with Lewin and PIRE on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Value of Poison Centers for Medicare Beneficiaries: Measuring the Impact of Poison Center Consultations project.

In this project, the team conducted a retrospective study to determine the impact of poison center consultations on the length of inpatient hospital stays related to poisonings for Medicare beneficiaries. The project also secured epidemiological data to identify whether any cost benefits existed with seniors’ hospitalizations due to poison-related incidents that may be attributable to the involvement of poison control centers.

Part of combating the opioid crisis requires creating educational tools to disseminate important messages. In our Prevention of Prescription Abuse in the Workplace project for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, we worked with employers and their staff members to spread opioid misuse prevention messages. We also supported Safe State’s Injury Surveillance Workgroup 7 from 2010 to 2012 as it examined data sources that can be used to keep track of the growing opioid epidemic.

The number of opioid-involved deaths continues to increase in the United States, adding to the already large numbers of deaths attributed to opioid use. We understand the urgency and scale of this crisis and we are committed to using our capabilities and experience to be a part of the solution.

The project also secured epidemiological data to identify whether any cost benefits existed with seniors’ hospitalizations due to poison-related incidents that may be attributable to the involvement of poison control centers.

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HHS Targets Opioid Epidemic With Five-Point Plan

HHS Targets Opioid Epidemic With Five-Point Plan

Econometrica supports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ strategy to reduce opioid deaths.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently published a blog post about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) strategy for battling the opioid crisis, which is focused on five key areas of improvement:

  1. Better addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
  2. Better data.
  3. Better pain management.
  4. Better targeting of overdose-reversing drugs.
  5. Better research.

Econometrica has contributed to similar improvements in a wide variety of healthcare fields, including patient safety and quality of care, and we are ready to focus our skills on the opioid epidemic.

For example, through the Partnership for Patients, Econometrica has supported hospitals by creating learning collaboratives that highlight real-world examples of improving care by limiting opioid prescriptions.

Econometrica has also created educational tools and messaging to improve healthcare, as AHRQ’s “Prevent & Protect” website does by educating the public about and improving access to Naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses. We provided the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with workshops, presentations, and trainings on preventing prescription drug abuse in the workplace, and we have created toolkits to help public housing agencies become smoke-free. We are currently working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help clinicians communicate with patients about antibiotic use.

HHS’ goal of “better pain management” point resonates particularly deeply with Econometrica staff, who care deeply about improving patients’ quality of life. We believe that all patients deserve an effective pain management plan when they are released from hospitals, and our Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly project aims to improve the quality of care for the elderly population by keeping participants out of the emergency room, through in-home and day center services.

We are optimistic about the HHS strategy for reducing opioid-related deaths, and both our experience and our ongoing projects have prepared us to support HHS in reaching its goals.

About Econometrica:
Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

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