Opioid-related hospital stays and emergency department visits for patients 65 and older increased 54 percent and 100 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2015, according to a new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Based on data from the agency’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, the 124,300 hospital stays and 36,200 ED visits in 2015 for seniors with opioid-related diagnoses also cost more on average than those for seniors with other conditions and were more likely to result in discharge to a post-acute care facility. According to a second new report by the agency, about one in five seniors filled at least one outpatient opioid prescription in 2015-2016. “The statistics in these reports provide important new insights into the opioid crisis and its impact on one of the nation’s most vulnerable populations,” said AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna. “The information is essential in supporting the Department of Health and Human Services’ and HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s ongoing efforts to confront the epidemic.”

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