Article

Relationship Between Buprenorphine Adherence and Health Service Utilization and Costs Among Opioid Dependent Patients

Journal of substance abuse treatment (Impact Factor: 2.9). 11/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.10.014

ABSTRACT Buprenorphine-medication assisted therapy (B-MAT) is an effective treatment for opioid dependence, but may be considered cost-prohibitive based on ingredient cost alone. The purpose of this study was to use medical and pharmacy claims data to estimate the healthcare service utilization and costs associated with B-MAT adherence among a sample of opioid dependent members. Members were placed into two adherence groups based on one-year medication possession ratio (≥ 0.80 vs. < 0.80). The B-MAT adherent group incurred significantly higher pharmacy charges (adjusted means; $6,156 vs. $3,581), but lower outpatient ($9,288 vs. $14,570), inpatient ($10,982 vs. $26,470), ER ($1,891 vs. $4,439), and total healthcare charges ($28,458 vs. $49,051; p < .01) compared to non-adherent members. Adherence effects were confirmed in general linear models. Though B-MAT adherence requires increased pharmacy utilization, adherent individuals were shown to use fewer expensive health care services, resulting in overall reduced healthcare expenditure compared to non-adherent patients.

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