Prescription Opioids: Medicare Needs to Expand Oversight Efforts to Reduce the Risk of Harm, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 2MB]
"Misuse of prescription opioids can lead to overdose and death. In 2016, over 14 million Medicare Part D beneficiaries received opioid prescriptions, and spending for opioids was almost $4.1 billion. GAO [Government Accountability Office] and others have reported on inappropriate activities and risks associated with these prescriptions, such as receiving multiple opioid prescriptions from different providers. GAO was asked to describe what is known about CMS's [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] oversight of Medicare Part D opioid use and prescribing. This report examines (1) CMS oversight of beneficiaries who receive opioid prescriptions under Part D, and (2) CMS oversight of providers who prescribe opioids to Medicare Part D beneficiaries. GAO reviewed CMS opioid utilization and prescriber data, CMS guidance for plan sponsors, and CMS's strategy to prevent opioid misuse. GAO also interviewed CMS officials, the six largest Part D plan sponsors, and 12 national associations selected to represent insurance plans, pharmacy benefit managers, physicians, patients, and regulatory and law enforcement authorities."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/