More opioid patients are dying in the hospital
We're getting better at keeping hospital patients alive — unless they're in the hospital because of opioids. A study published in the new issue of Health Affairs finds that mortality rates for opioid patients quadrupled between 2000 and 2014. The hospital mortality rate for other drugs stayed about the same, while survival rates for all other hospitalizations improved over the same period.
Between the lines: Patients admitted for opioid/heroin poisoning were more likely to be: white, ages 50–64, Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities, and residents of lower-income areas.