Quality of Preventive and Chronic Illness Care for Insured Adults With Opioid Use Disorder

JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Apr 1;4(4):e214925. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.4925.


Importance: Nearly all initiatives to improve care for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) have focused on improving OUD identification and treatment. Whether individuals with OUD have lower quality of care than individuals without OUD remains unclear.

Objective: To measure quality of non-OUD preventive and chronic illness care and care coordination for individuals with OUD compared with individuals without OUD.

Design, setting, and participants: A cross-sectional study of deidentified data on outpatients throughout the US was conducted. Claims for 79 372 commercially insured and Medicare Advantage enrollees aged 18 years or older with diagnosis codes for OUD between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019, and 46 601 individuals without OUD were included in the analysis.

Exposure: Diagnosis of OUD.

Main outcomes and measures: Quality indicator performance was calculated, using claims for individuals with OUD and matched comparators without OUD. Within 3 domains of outpatient care quality (preventive care, chronic illness care, and care coordination), 6 indicators used in accountability programs were selected. Performance for individuals with and without OUD was compared, and logistic regression was used to analyze sociodemographic and comorbidity characteristics associated with higher quality of health care.

Results: The study included 125 973 individuals, including 69 466 (55.1%) women and 78 225 (62.1%) White individuals, with a mean (SD) age of 59.0 (16.1) years. For the preventive care measure examining breast cancer screening, performance for the OUD cohort was 55.4% (95% CI, 54.7%-56.0%) compared with 65.6% (95% CI, 64.4%-66.7%) for individuals without OUD (P < .001). Quality of care for adherence to statin therapy was lower for individuals with OUD (70.4%; 95% CI, 68.7%-72.1%) compared with individuals without OUD (76.7%; 95% CI, 74.4%-78.7%) (P < .001) and for the hemoglobin A1c testing indicator (OUD: 80.9%; 95% CI, 80.4%-81.5%; comparator: 85.8%; 95% CI, 84.9%-86.8%; P < .001). Care coordination quality also was lower for individuals with OUD compared with those without OUD for mental health follow-up (OUD: 45.3%; 95% CI, 44.6%-46.0%; comparator: 52.5%; 95% CI, 50.0%-55.0%; P < .001) and for potentially avoidable hospitalizations for chronic conditions (OUD: 11.4%; 95% CI, 11.2%-11.7%; comparator: 8.8%; 95% CI, 8.3%-9.2%; P < .001) and diabetes, where a lower score indicates higher quality (OUD: 2.4%; 95% CI, 2.3%-2.5%; comparator: 1.9%; 95% CI, 1.7%-2.1%; P = .001).

Conclusions and relevance: These findings suggest that individuals with OUD have moderately lower quality of care across preventive and chronic illness care and care coordination for non-OUD care compared with individuals without OUD. More attention to measurement and improvement of non-OUD care for these individuals is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control
  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Continuity of Patient Care / standards*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • United States / epidemiology