Sensitivity of Medicaid Claims Data for Identifying Opioid Use Disorder in Patients Admitted to 6 New York City Public Hospitals

Jennifer Mcneely, Shane D. Gallagher, Medha Mazumdar, Noa Appleton, Jasmine Fernando, Elizabeth Owens, Emmeline Bone, Noa Krawczyk, Johanna Dolle, Roopa Kalyanaraman Marcello, John Billings, Scarlett Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Behavioral health diagnoses are frequently underreported in administrative health data. For a pragmatic trial of a hospital addiction consult program, we sought to determine the sensitivity of Medicaid claims data for identifying patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). Methods A structured review of electronic health record (EHR) data was conducted to identify patients with OUD in 6 New York City public hospitals. Cases selected for review were adults admitted to medical/surgical inpatient units who received methadone or sublingual buprenorphine in the hospital. For cases with OUD based on EHR review, we searched for the hospitalization in Medicaid claims data and examined International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision discharge diagnosis codes to identify opioid diagnoses (OUD, opioid poisoning, or opioid-related adverse events). Sensitivity of Medicaid claims data for capturing OUD hospitalizations was calculated using EHR review findings as the reference standard measure. Results Among 552 cases with OUD based on EHR review, 465 (84.2%) were found in the Medicaid claims data, of which 418 (89.9%) had an opioid discharge diagnosis. Opioid diagnoses were the primary diagnosis in 49 cases (11.7%), whereas in the remainder, they were secondary diagnoses. Conclusion In this sample of hospitalized patients receiving OUD medications, Medicaid claims seem to have good sensitivity for capturing opioid diagnoses. Although the sensitivity of claims data may vary, it can potentially be a valuable source of information about OUD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-341
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Addiction Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • addiction consult service
  • claims data
  • opioid use disorder
  • pragmatic clinical trial
  • substance-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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