Casey P. Balio, BA Department of Health Policy and Management Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Indianapolis, IN

Factors Linked To Repeat ER Visits for Opioid Addiction Interview with:

Casey P. Balio, BA Department of Health Policy and Management Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Indianapolis, IN

Casey Balio

Casey P. Balio, BA
Department of Health Policy and Management
Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
Indianapolis, IN What is the background for this study?

Response:   There are numerous studies that estimate the prevalence of various opioid-related outcomes including emergency department (ED) encounters, hospitalizations, and overdoses as well as risk factors for these. However, there is limited evidence about repeated opioid-related encounters.

This study uses health information exchange (HIE) data for four hospital systems in the state of Indiana from 2012-2017 to identify individual, prescription, encounter, and community characteristics that may be associated with having repeat opioid-related encounters. What are the main findings? 

Response: Our study finds that there has been an increase in the portion of opioid-related encounters that were first compared to repeated during the study period, from 9% in 2012 to 34.3% of all opioid-related encounters in 2017. In addition, there are several characteristics of the individual, prescription history, encounter, and community at a given opioid-related ED encounter that are associated with greater odds of subsequent opioid-related ED encounter in the future.

These include the previous number of opioid related ED encounters the individual has had, the number of hospital systems in which that individual has had any ED encounters previously, documented heroin use at the current encounter, a benzodiazepine prescription being filled within 30 days prior to the current encounter, and being either insured by Medicaid or uninsured compared to private insurance. Odds of having a future encounter are lower for all older age groups relative to individuals ages 18-25. What should readers take away from your report?

Response:    Findings from this study not only provide additional detail on the opioid epidemic within the state, but also identify characteristics associated with differing odds of future encounters. These findings may be used to for risk assessment and to identify opportunities for connecting individuals with treatment. Additionally, this study illustrates the importance of having shared data across organizations to provide a more complete picture both for research and for practice. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response:     Future research may evaluate the effects of various state and local policies or other interventions that have been implemented to combat the opioid epidemic with a specific focus on repeat encounters. Multistate or national approaches may also help to improve the generalizability of these findings. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response:   This work was supported by the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction (070227-00006C). Additionally, research reported in this publication was supported by the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award T15LM012502. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the National Library of Medicine.


Opioid-Related Emergency Department Encounters: Patient, Encounter, and Community Characteristics Associated With Repeated Encounters
Balio, Casey P. et al.
Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 0, Issue 0 


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Feb 13, 2020 @ 9:05 pm

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