Kentucky's PDMP Still Improving

14 Jun, 2019 F.J. Thomas


Frankfort, KY ( –The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General announced that Kentucky is continuing to make strides in the fight against opioid abuse through its Prescription Drug Management Programs (PDMP). As reported in a article in 2018, evidence from a 2017 WCRI report showed that Kentucky was improving despite a California study that showed opioids were still the number one type of drug prescribed for workers’ comp cases. Every state but Missouri has implemented PDMPs to track prescriptions issued by providers.

According to information on the OIG website, there were 48,000 deaths in 2017 from Opioid use, a total that is 6 times higher than 1999 statistics. In light of the high increase in drug related deaths the CDC awarded federal funding to several states to monitor drug use through PDMPs. Kentucky was selected because the state ranked second highest for age-adjusted overdose fatality rates in 2013.

The OIG audited the University of Kentucky Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to ensure that Federal funds were used in compliance with Federal requirements, and to identify the actions that the PDMP has taken to achieve the goals set forth in the program.

The OIG’s report indicated that Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) has been a crucial element in improving the statistics. KASPER initially started out as only a drug tracking application, however the University has expanded its capability by linking the data with other entities.

 The University’s PDMP proposals included:

  • Integration of KASPER with electronic health records for cross reference
  • Prescriber training and education
  • Creating a Drug overdose fatality surveillance system (DOFSS) fed by multiple sources
  • Tracking overdoses of nonfatal prescriptions for comparison

With the above protocols implemented, the University successfully implemented the following to further enhance the program:

  1. Providing training and more access to KASPER for the healthcare community
  2. Developing a DOFSS that serves as a central repository for vital information such as toxicology reports, death certificates, and coroner reports.

The University plans on making more improvements including closer monitoring of morphine, and expanding the capability of KASPER with additional reporting resources. The full improvements can be reviewed in the full OIG report.


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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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