Share with your friends










Submit

Analytics Magazine

SAS Analytics helps Virginia tackle opioid addiction

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) speeds medical care to citizens in need by analyzing massive amounts of data using SAS Analytics. More and more, that care involves treating opioid addiction.

In November, the State Health Commissioner declared opioid addiction a Virginia public health emergency. Opioid-related deaths in the commonwealth were up nearly 80 percent in 2016 compared to five years ago. Virginia’s Medicaid Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services (ARTS), which facilitates Medicaid reimbursements for a host of addiction services, has become a bulwark in the battle.

DMAS, which administers Virginia’s Medicaid program and oversees ARTS benefits, faces daunting challenges. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Medicaid beneficiaries are prescribed painkillers at twice the rate of non-Medicaid patients and are at three to six times the risk of prescription painkillers overdose.”

But with data flooding in from across the commonwealth, including emergency department, opioid and heroin abuse data, it is difficult to match patients with the best provider and services. This is particularly burdensome in rural counties, where providers are fewer and scattered.

Using SAS Visual Analytics, DMAS can review fresh provider network data each day and view on a “heat map” any gaps in coverage. Previously, data was updated only every few weeks – too late for someone in crisis.

“Today, we can instantly see which services are available, and where,” said DMAS Director Cindi Jones. “This will help get addiction recovery assistance to the people who need it more quickly.”

Virginia Medicaid recently began covering more community-based addiction recovery services, including medication-assisted opioid treatment and inpatient detoxification, which experts believe is more effective than outpatient or community detox. With help from analytics, DMAS can shepherd more people wrestling with opioid and heroin addiction into those programs and increase positive patient outcomes.

DMAS extracts and disseminates over 1 billion records a year – a number expected to snowball as DMAS transitions to 100 percent managed care. DMAS needed analytics software that could increase and help it quickly process requests from citizens and stakeholders, such as the governor, general assembly, chief medical officer, secretary of health and human services, and others.

DMAS now turns around prior authorizations for services or prescriptions in a single day, a process that previously took 30 days or more.

The secure SAS environment and user authentication functionality also allows DMAS to share sensitive data across the organization, while adhering to HIPAA standards for safeguarding personal health data.

SAS data management and data integration capabilities provide centralized, consistent information. That means DMAS can collect data once, but use it repeatedly with confidence. Complex reports can be automated and generated in significantly less time.

SAS makes data accessible to more than 200 users, who can independently analyze and perform simple queries. Non-programmers can access SAS reports through familiar office software like Excel, allowing experienced SAS users to focus on complex research and statistical analysis.

“The explosion of health data actually presents an opportunity to turn back the tide of opioid addiction,” said Paula Henderson, vice president at SAS US Government. “DMAS’ innovative analytics work sets an example for other states battling this devastating epidemic.”

Related Posts

  • 68
    Following the 2016 presidential election, the first two months of the new year were quite tumultuous for the U.S. healthcare system. Interestingly, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has survived so far, albeit the process to repeal the law has begun.
    Tags: healthcare, analytics, medicaid, health, care, data
  • 62
    The Israeli Ministry of Health recently agreed to reverse a blood donation policy and will now allow some Ethiopian immigrants, homosexuals and elderly people to donate blood. According to the Jerusalem Post, the change is a result of “new local and foreign epidemiological data and the improvement in medical technologies…
    Tags: health, analytics, healthcare
  • 60
    As healthcare organizations transition to value-based care, there is an increasing need for actionable information. Many organizations do not know where to start in building an information framework that assists with decision-making and drives actions. Provider organizations, particularly large, complicated health systems, have incredible amounts of data spread over several…
    Tags: data, analytics, healthcare, health, care
  • 60
    The 2016 election is a watershed moment for the U.S. healthcare industry. Any presidential election and change of guards come with changes in policies. It happened in 2008 when President Obama was sworn into the office. That led to the establishment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. To…
    Tags: healthcare, care, health, medicaid, data, analytics
  • 59
    UPMC has formed Pensiamo, an independent company that aims to help hospitals improve supply chain performance through a comprehensive source-to-pay offering, including cognitive analytics with IBM Watson Health technologies.
    Tags: healthcare, services, analytics

Analytics Blog

Electoral College put to the math test


With the campaign two months behind us and the inauguration of Donald Trump two days away, isn’t it time to put the 2016 U.S. presidential election to bed and focus on issues that have yet to be decided? Of course not.

Web-First



Headlines

Accenture security report identifies top cyber threats

With recent large-scale cyberattacks signaling a growing front in destructive threats and business impact, a new midyear report from iDefense, part of Accenture Security, reveals how threat actors are continuing to evolve their ability to avoid detection. Based on in-depth analysis, the report anticipates a growth in the number of threat actors who are rapidly expanding their capabilities due to factors such as the proliferation of affordable, customizable and accessible tools and exploits. Read more →

Job searchers: It’s not just who you know, but how well you know them

While online networking sites enable individuals to increase their professional connections, to what extent do these ties actually lead to job opportunities? A new study in the INFORMS journal Management Science finds that, despite the ability to significantly increase the number of professional connections and identify more job leads with limited effort on these sites, unless the connection is a strong one, they typically will not lead to job offers.  Read more →

UPCOMING ANALYTICS EVENTS

INFORMS-SPONSORED EVENTS

Essential Practice Skills for High-Impact Analytics Projects
Sept. 26-27, Executive Conference Center, Arlington, Va.

Foundations of Modern Predictive Analytics
Oct. 2-3, VT Executive Briefing Center, Arlington, Va.

2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting
October 22-25, 2017, Houston

2017 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC 2017)
Dec. 3-6, 2017, Las Vegas

CAP® EXAM SCHEDULE

CAP® Exam computer-based testing sites are available in 700 locations worldwide. Take the exam close to home and on your schedule:


 
For more information, go to 
https://www.certifiedanalytics.org.