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
    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
  • 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
  • 59
    The last two months were eventful for healthcare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) endured another repeal-and-replace attack in congress. The latest bill, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, was withdrawn by Senate Republican leaders when it became clear that the bill would not receive the 50 votes needed for passage.
    Tags: health, healthcare, care, data, medical, 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.




Headlines

Survey: Despite the hype, AI adoption still in early stages

The hype surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) is intense, but for most European businesses surveyed in a recent study by SAS, adoption of AI is still in the early or even planning stages. The good news is, the vast majority of organizations have begun to talk about AI, and a few have even begun to implement suitable projects. There is much optimism about the potential of AI, although fewer were confident that their organization was ready to exploit that potential. Read more →

Data professionals spend almost as much time prepping data as analyzing it

Nearly 40 percent of data professionals spend more than 20 hours per week accessing, blending and preparing data rather than performing actual analysis, according to a survey conducted by TMMData and the Digital Analytics Association. More than 800 DAA community members participated in the survey held earlier this year. The survey revealed that data access, quality and integration present persistent, interrelated roadblocks to efficient and confident analysis across industries. Read more →

UPCOMING ANALYTICS EVENTS

INFORMS-SPONSORED EVENTS

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.