MX Hosts ‘Better Data for Opioid Action’ Event in Los Angeles

Manifest MedEx assembled a roundtable dinner to discuss “Better Data for Opioid Action” with health leaders in Southern California in February 2018. This event brought together innovators from the academic, public health, health plan, health provider, and technology perspectives to discuss ways that information can transform opioid abuse prevention and treatment in our state.

The roundtable event included representatives from:

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Anthem Blue Cross of California
  • California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF)
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • Institute for Prediction Technology, University of California (UCLA)

As California’s nonprofit health data exchange, Manifest MedEx, is eager to support action on this public health crisis. The discussion began with stories of the personal impact of the opioid epidemic on the panel – including the changing protocols physicians have been trained on, stigma around methadone treatment and frustration over most opioid work going to treatment and not prevention. Fears around policy action potentially making the epidemic worse, and the enormous potential for it to get worse, were discussed.

75% of people who died of an overdose had been at the hospital for overdose in the prior year.

On the health information topic, the participants brainstormed ways to put pharmacy claims data, non-fatal overdose hospitalization records, prison records and death records to use and the importance of evidence-driven health policy. The case study of discovering that 75% of people who died of an overdose had been at the hospital for overdose in the prior year by CRISP, the Maryland health data exchange, comparing health and death records particularly stood out.

Participants encouraged exploring ways to proactively trigger health action using exchange health information in California. Creating notifications of patient overdose events, reporting on the total number of overdose days, flagging patients taking medication at high doses or in specific combinations were thought to be crucial first programs to test.

The event concluded with a call for more collaboration to address the opioid crisis in California. The participants suggested that additional meetings with public health professionals, civic leaders and healthcare partners would yield additional opportunities for life-saving action and putting health data exchange to work.

For more information about joining the nonprofit Manifest MedEx health data exchange, please contact our team.