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Study Finds Within Individual Health Systems Black and White Patients Received Different Opioid Doses

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An AHRQ-funded study found health systems prescribed average annual opioid doses that were 36 percent higher for White patients than the average dose prescribed to Black patients.

Researchers analyzed 2016 and 2017 Medicare claims data from a random 40% national sample of fee-for-service, Black and White beneficiaries 18 to 64 years of age who were attributed to health systems.

The study found within individual health systems, Black and White patients received markedly different opioid doses. These system-specific findings could facilitate exploration of the causes and consequences of these differences.

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