Motivated by a large and growing share of people who receive disability insurance for pain-related conditions, and the growing availability of prescription opioids compared with historical standards, we examine how expanded availability of opioid medication has affected enrollment in the SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. We use two types of analysis, both relying on differences in the availability of opioid medications across areas (states or commuting zones) over time. The first analysis is aggregate: we examine the relationship between area-level changes in the availability of opioid medications from 2001-2015 and federal disability applications. We distinguish trends prior to 2010, when prescribing was rising in virtually all areas, from opioid prescribing after 2010, when some areas experienced a continued rise in prescription opioid availability just as other areas experienced abrupt declines. We complement this with individual data from the Health and Retirement Study.
DATE AND TIME
Thursday, January 31st, 2019
11:45 - 12:45 PM
Mailman School of Public Health, Room 532A/532B
722 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
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About the Speaker
Ellen Meara is a health economist known for her work modeling the effects of public policies and regulations on health care utilization, overall health, and economic outcomes. Her research often focuses on the impact of public policies and regulations on publicly insured populations in Medicare and Medicaid. Meara looks closely at the economic impact of changes to insurance coverage, payment strategies, and the implementation of care delivery innovations. Much of this work focuses on disabled populations, including people with mental illness and substance disorders. She has extensive experience tracking trends in medical spending over time and for different populations.