Opioid Prescribing Heat Maps Help Communities Target Improvement Efforts

Our ZIP code level heat maps help care transition communities like yours target potential areas for improvement. We create color-coded heat maps by calculating hospital utilization or volume of drug prescription rates per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries living in each ZIP code. Darker colors correspond to higher rates of opioid use so that, at a glance, you can easily determine where to focus your efforts.

When we looked at opioid prescription rates in our region, we noted differences in the types of communities affected by higher rates of opioid use. In Virginia, opioid use was concentrated in the rural, southwest area of the state. However, in Maryland, the opioid epidemic is most prevalent in Baltimore City and the surrounding suburbs. The heat maps also indicated that the areas reporting the highest opioid prescription areas were not necessarily where the most abuse or accidental poisonings from opioids were occurring.

Although these maps do not give provider-specific rates, they will help recruited facilities identify patient populations that would benefit from improvement efforts. The maps are just one of the many benefits of working with HQI to improve care coordination. Together, we can ensure that all patients have received the support they need to stay healthy. If you would like to obtain a heat map, contact Cindy Warriner or Tosin David

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