Table 3

Characteristics associated with unknown diagnosis type on initial opioid prescriptions dispensed to Rhode Island residents, 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020§

CharacteristicsKnown diagnosis type
N=55 481
N (%)*
Unknown diagnosis type
N=31 574
N (%)*
Patient characteristics
 Age54 (37–66)†52 (34–65)†
 Sex
 Female33 007 (59.49)17 392 (55.08)
 Male22 474 (40.51)14 178 (44.90)
 Unknown0 (0.0)<5
 Payment method
 Private insurance33 777 (60.88)18 714 (59.27)
 Medicare8358 (15.06)4590 (14.54)
 Medicaid6861 (12.37)3968 (12.57)
 Cash4552 (8.20)3527 (11.17)
 Workers’ compensation241 (0.43)192 (0.61)
 Unknown1692 (3.05)583 (1.85)
Prescription characteristics
 Opioid type
 Oxycodone26 422 (47.62)11 209 (35.50)
 Hydrocodone13 955 (25.15)10 306 (32.64)
 Tramadol8417 (15.17)4173 (13.22)
 Codeine4719 (8.51)4806 (15.22)
 Morphine1483 (2.67)844 (2.67)
 Hydromorphone314 (0.57)180 (0.57)
 Buprenorphine (pain)‡70 (0.13)21 (0.07)
 Methadone32 (0.06)10 (0.03)
 Fentanyl25 (0.05)<5
 Tapentadol16 (0.03)11 (0.03)
 Opium18 (0.03)<5
 Oxymorphone<5<5
 Butorphanol<5<5
 Pentazocine0 (0.00)<5
 Dihydrocodeine<50 (0.00)
 Meperidine<5<5
 Chronic opioid use
 Yes472 (0.85)175 (0.55)
 No55 009 (99.15)31 399 (99.45)
 Initial opioid prescription
 Days’ supply5 (3–5)†4 (3–5)†
 Quantity prescribed18 (10–20)†15 (10–20)†
 Daily MME25.0 (18.8–30.0)†22.5 (18.0–30.0)†
 90-day follow-up period
 Total days prescribed5 (3–5)†5 (3–7)†
 Initial MME25.0 (18.8–30.0)†22.5 (18.0–30.0)†
 Final MME25.0 (18.8–30.0)†22.5 (18.0–30.0)†
Prescriber type
 Physician26 083 (47.01)12 157 (38.50)
 Physician assistant8954 (16.14)4123 (13.06)
 Advanced nurse8458 (15.24)3515 (11.13)
 Dental professional5101 (9.19)9161 (29.01)
 Unknown6885 (12.41)2618 (8.29)
  • *Unless otherwise specified.

  • †Median (IQR).

  • ‡This analysis excluded buprenorphine products that were only FDA-approved for medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorder.

  • §Initial opioid prescriptions were defined as either the patient’s first opioid prescription or an opioid prescription that started at least 60 days after the patient’s previous opioid prescription ended. For patients with more than one initial opioid prescription during this period, we randomly selected one for inclusion in this analysis.

  • MME, morphine milligram equivalent.