Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf’s multi-agency Opioid Command Center announced the addition of three important datasets to Pennsylvania’s Opioid Data Dashboard, introduced in March.
“The more information we share, the more informed Pennsylvanians can become and the more we can work together to fight this epidemic from all sides,” Governor Wolf said. “The Opioid Command Center agencies are working tirelessly to collect data and make it widely available to health care professionals, treatment facilities, and the public.”
“As the opioid data dashboard grows to include more information, we are moving towards a more complete picture of the impact the disease of opioid-use disorder has on our communities,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “With this information in hand, communities can work at the grass-roots level to help prevent the disease, rescue those who are in immediate need and get their loved ones into treatment. Treatment works and recovery is possible.”
The newly added datasets include emergency naloxone doses administered by Emergency Medical Services, inmates admitted to prison who self-report opioid use, and naloxone prescriptions filled using Medicaid.
Emergency naloxone doses administered by EMS.
The data depicted in the EMS naloxone map show doses of naloxone administered by emergency medical services (EMS) providers at the scene of an emergency by county. The data are derived from EMS patient care reports completed by certified EMS providers in the field.
Inmates Admitted to Prison who Self-Report Opioid Use
All inmates sentenced to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC) are assessed upon admission to prison for substance use disorder. The maps included on the dashboard show the percent of all inmates sentenced to PA DOC from each county who indicate that an opioid-based drug caused them the most serious problem, and the percent of all inmates sentenced to PA DOC from each county who indicate that they used an opioid drug in the past 12 months. These maps can be indicators of which areas of the commonwealth are experiencing high opioid use disorder issues related to criminal activity. It should be noted that this is self-report information.
Naloxone Prescriptions Filled Using Medicaid
Naloxone is a covered outpatient drug in the Medical Assistance Program. Everyone on Medicaid has unrestricted access to life-saving naloxone with no limits and no co-pays. The map shows, by county, the number of people on Medicaid filling a prescription for naloxone.
The opioid data dashboard focuses on data sets in the three main areas distinguished by Governor Wolf in his disaster declaration: prevention, rescue and treatment. It also shows data at the county-level.
On January 10, Governor Wolf signed a statewide disaster declaration for the opioid epidemic to enhance state response, increase access to treatment, and save lives. He renewed the 90-day declaration in April and the disaster declaration Opioid Command Center continues to implement the 13 initial initiatives, plus add new ones to combat the epidemic.
Governor Wolf and state agencies have been increasing efforts in the fight against prescription drug abuse in multiple areas, including numerous programs and initiatives:
- Working with the legislature to establish a new law limiting the number of opioids that can be prescribed to a minor and to individuals discharged from emergency rooms to seven days;
- Strengthening the PDMP through the legislative process so that doctors are required and able to check the system each time they prescribe opioids and benzodiazepines;
- Forming new prescribing guidelines to help doctors who provide opioid prescriptions to their patients, including guidelines specific to orthopedics and sports medicine;
- Creating the warm handoff guideline to facilitate referrals from the emergency department to substance abuse treatment;
- Teaming with the legislature to establish education curriculum on safe prescribing for medical schools; and
- Awarding four $1 million grants for medication-assisted treatment using a hub and spoke model for Pennsylvanians who are uninsured, under-insured or have private insurance.
For more information on the state’s efforts to battle the opioid epidemic and to view the dashboard, visit https://www.pa.gov/guides/opioid-epidemic/.
MEDIA CONTACT: J.J. Abbott, 717-783-1116
Nate Wardle, DOH, 717- 787-1783
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