A new report finds doctors in Kentucky diagnosed more cases of opioid addiction for people with private insurance than any other state in 2016.
The report is by Amino, a health-care transparency company that aims to estimate the costs of care. The Courier-Journal reports 23 of every 1,000 Kentuckians were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder in 2016. Nationally, 1.4 million privately insured patients were diagnosed with opioid use disorder--that’s six times more than in 2012.
Amino’s report shows people addicted to opioids have higher rates of alcoholism, depression and chronic pain. Patients diagnosed with an opioid use disorder also show higher rates of diseases commonly found among intravenous drug users like hepatitis C and HIV. Health officials are calling for more needle exchange sites that allow people to turn in used needles for clean ones.
Kentucky is home to nine of the top ten counties nationwide for doctors treating a high volume of patients for opioid use disorder.
Top 10 counties by density of physicians that treated a high volume of patients for opioid use disorder in 2016.
Breathitt County, Kentucky: 51.5 per 100,000 residents.
Franklin County, Georgia: 45.2
Lee County, Kentucky: 42.1
Wolfe County, Kentucky: 41.3
Perry County, Kentucky: 39.2
Boyle County, Kentucky: 34
Floyd County, Kentucky: 33.6
Menifee County, Kentucky: 31.5
Bourbon County, Kentucky: 30
Rowan County, Kentucky: 29.7