Columbia Orthopedics Publishes in JAAOS

Journal of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons logo.

Columbia Orthopedics providers; Ronald A. Lehman, MD, Lawrence G. Lenke, MD, William N. Levine, MD, and K. Daniel Riew, MD; as well as third year resident Venkat Boddapati, MD recently published an article in the Journal of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons titled “Opioid Prescriptions by Orthopaedic Surgeons in a Medicare Population: Recent Trends, Potential Complications, and Characteristics of High Prescribers.”

The study characterized recent trends in opioid prescribing patterns by orthopedic surgeons within a Medicare population and to identify demographical characteristics associated with the highest prescribers. Researchers used Medicare Part D beneficiary prescriptions between 2013 and 2016. They compared the number of prescriptions written per orthopedic surgeon, received by each beneficiary, and the length of each prescription. Top prescribers were identified and compared with the remainder of prescribers to identify differences in sex, professional education, and region.

“Orthopaedic surgeons prescribe a disproportionate amount of opioids,” said Dr. Boddapati. “However, between 2013 and 2016 there has been a significant decrease in the number of opioid prescriptions written per Medicare beneficiary and a concomitant increase in non-opioid analgesic prescriptions during this time period.”

While orthopedic surgeons prescribed about 7.7% of opioid prescriptions in the US, there has been a decrease in the number of prescriptions written per surgeon, beneficiary, total opioid prescriptions, and an increase in total nonopioid prescriptions in recent years. This may reflect a rise in public awareness of the opioid crisis and changes in physician behavior.

Read the full article here.