HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Identifying individuals with opioid use disorder: Validity of International Classification of Diseases diagnostic codes for opioid use, dependence and abuse.
Lagisetty P, Garpestad C, Larkin A, Macleod C, Antoku D, Slat S, Thomas J, Powell V, Bohnert ASB, Lin LA. Identifying individuals with opioid use disorder: Validity of International Classification of Diseases diagnostic codes for opioid use, dependence and abuse. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2021 Apr 1; 221:108583.
Policy evaluations and health system interventions often utilize International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes of opioid use, dependence, and abuse to identify individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and assess receipt of evidence-based treatments. However, ICD codes may not map directly onto the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-5) OUD criteria. This study investigates the positive predictive value of ICD codes in identifying patients with OUD.
We conducted a clinical chart review on a national sample of 520 Veterans assigned ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes for opioid use, dependence, or abuse from 2012 to 2017. We extracted evidence of DSM-5 OUD criteria and opioid misuse from clinical documentation in the month preceding and three months following initial ICD code listing, and categorized patients into: 1) high likelihood of OUD, 2) limited aberrant opioid use, 3) prescribed opioid use without evidence of aberrant use, and 4) insufficient information. Positive predictive value was calculated as the percentage of individuals with these ICD codes meeting high likelihood of OUD criteria upon chart review.
Only 57.7 % of patients were categorized as high likelihood of OUD; 16.5 % were categorized as limited aberrant opioid use, 18.9 % prescribed opioid use without evidence of aberrant use, and 6.9 % insufficient information.
Patients assigned ICD codes for opioid use, dependence, or abuse often lack documentation of meeting OUD criteria. Many receive long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain without evidence of misuse. Robust methods of identifying individuals with OUD are crucial to improving access to clinically appropriate treatment.