Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,993,123)
Background: Opioid-related overdoses continue to be a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Recent increases in drug overdose deaths have been largely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl, but deaths involving stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, are also on the rise. The lingering impacts of COVID-19 on the opioid epidemic are still being evaluated, but 2020 data suggest that the pandemic has helped accelerate opioid-related overdose deaths.
Purpose: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) seeks to build upon past and ongoing Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funded Prescription Drug Monitoring Program enhancement projects to expand MassPAT’s capabilities as a tool for improving clinical decision making. The MA Prescription Monitoring Program (MA PMP) continues to be an integral part of the state’s overall strategy to prevent its residents from accessing controlled medications that are not clinically necessary. Since MassPAT became operational, the program has developed capacity to integrate with various electronic health record (EHR) systems across the state and this integration capability is available and being widely implemented throughout the Commonwealth.
Primary Activities: MDPH proposes to contribute to the reduction of diversion and abuse of controlled substances in the Commonwealth through pursuit of two principal enhancement objectives:
(1) Buprenorphine Prompt: Buprenorphine is an effective medication used to treat opioid addiction and dependence. However, research has shown there to be a very high rate of premature treatment discontinuation among individuals starting buprenorphine therapy. MDPH proposes to work with our PMP vendor to develop functionality that alerts prescribers when there is a gap in buprenorphine dispensing. Depending on discussions with buprenorphine prescribers and other experts, the criteria used can be more or less restrictive. The Department will also conduct an evaluation to gather feedback and assess patterns of adherence in buprenorphine patients before and after the intervention.
(2) Continuation of our 1-Year pilot of SafeScripts+ – MassPAT’s advanced patient support tool: We are requesting funding for the continuation of our MassPAT PMP enhancement product called SafeSCripts+. This is an advanced patient support tool developed by Bamboo Health in collaboration with MA PMP that includes risk alert features as well as interactive prescription data graphically displayed in a single, customizable, and easy-to-use interface. This enhanced tool allows prescribers to make more informed clinical decisions. The Department is confident that with the requested BJA grant funding the citizens across the Commonwealth will benefit from these enhancements.