Rural and Urban Differences in Primary Care Pain Treatment by Clinician Type

Publication Date: April 21st, 2020
Publication Type(s): Policy Brief
Topic(s): , , , ,
Author(s): Neprash, H., Smith, L.B., Prasad, S., Sheridan, B., Kozhimannil, K.

The effects of the opioid epidemic are particularly pronounced in rural areas, where opioid prescribing and drug overdose deaths are more frequent than in urban areas. Little is known about the opioid prescribing patterns of nurse practitioners (NPs), compared to primary care physicians – and how prescribing patterns differ for rural vs urban practices. This policy brief presents findings from a comparison of opioid prescribing rates among physicians and NPs within primary care practices – using a novel database of all-payer health care claims and eprescribing data.

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