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Key Report Underscores Need for Continued Support to Fight Opioid Crisis

June 28, 2017

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) today released its Hospitalizations for Opioid Overdose – 2016 report.

The report shows overdose trends for both heroin and pain medication. Trends include hospitalization rates, mortality rates, and payments, as well as geographic breakdowns.

During 2016, hospitals saw 1,524 admissions for heroin overdose.

  • Three percent of those patients had been previously admitted for heroin overdose at least once that year
  • Overdose admissions resulted in approximately $13.9 million in hospital payments
  • The in-hospital mortality rate rose from 7.5 percent during 2014 to 9.4 percent during 2016
  • The average age for a heroin overdose patient was 33
  • Statewide, there were 14.4 heroin overdose admissions for every 100,000 residents

During 2016, hospitals saw 1,775 admissions for pain medication overdose.

  • Three percent of those patients had been previously admitted for pain medication overdose at least once that year
  • Overdose admissions resulted in approximately $13.2 million in hospital payments
  • The in-hospital mortality rate was 2.8 percent
  • The average age for a pain medication overdose patient was 54
  • Statewide, there were 16.8 pain medication admissions for every 100,000 residents

In total, statewide, there were 31.1 hospital admissions for every 100,000 residents.

As the state legislature finalizes its spending plan for the coming fiscal year, and as the U.S. Senate debates the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), this report underscores the need for continued funding to address the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania.

In April of this year, Pennsylvania was awarded a $26 million federal grant to support and improve its prevention, treatment, and recovery services. These services include treatment and recovery resources, prescription drug monitoring, pain management practices, warm hand-off referral practices, and community awareness activities.

HAP is deeply involved in efforts to combat the opioid crisis and continues to work closely with member hospitals, the federal and state government, and aligned organizations to help treat opioid use disorder.

For more information on HAP’s physician efforts related to the opioid epidemic, contact Michael J. Consuelos, MD, HAP’s senior vice president, clinical integration. 

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