Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Gives Progress Report on New Opioid Prescription Monitoring Tool

Over 6.5 million searches conducted by healthcare providers in MassPAT’s first year
For immediate release:
10/18/2017
  • Marylou Sudders, HHS Secretary
  • Monica Bharel, DPH Commissioner

Media Contact

Ann Scales, Communications

Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration said today that over six and a half million searches have been conducted by health care providers in the first year since the launch of the state’s Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT), which links Massachusetts’ patient prescription data sharing capability with 31 other states including all of New England, New York and the District of Columbia.
 
“Since taking office, we have been committed to providing communities and providers the tools, data and investments to curb and eliminate the opioid epidemic’s devastating toll on Massachusetts families,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This revamped, user-friendly prescription monitoring system, a first-in-the-nation seven-day prescription limit, and education initiatives for our doctors, nurses, dentists and social workers, are all key to our efforts to promote safe prescribing and reduce opioid prescriptions by 28% over the last three years.”

Enacted in October 2016, state law requires prescribers to check MassPAT before writing any new opioid prescriptions. Since the system launched:

  • There have been more than 6.5 million searches on MassPAT, with a weekly average of approximately 125,000 searches conducted.
  • The total number of individuals registered with Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT) as of October 2017: 56,993 (including delegates).
  • The total number of physicians registered as of October 2017: 28,764.
  • 97% of prescribers that prescribed at least one Schedule II or III opioid have registered with MassPAT.
  • As of October 2017, Massachusetts has connected with 31 states and the District of Columbia to share patient prescription data, including Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine.

“The successful launch of MassPAT has helped reduce the risk of opioid prescription misuse and diversion,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. ``Too many Massachusetts residents have died during this epidemic, and far too many began their addiction through the misuse of opioid medication. MassPAT is helping providers prevent that from happening again.”

A recent report issued by DPH highlighted the risk of prescription opioids. The Chapter 55 study found that for those who died of an opioid-related overdose between 2011 and 2015, the average survival time from first opioid prescription to death was just 36 months.

“Our goal for developing and launching MassPAT was to give healthcare providers a tool that would help them in their clinical practice and be part of the solution for the current epidemic,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Over the past year, MassPAT has proven its value in assisting health care providers to safely care for their patients.”

The Baker-Polito Administration has increased annual spending for substance misuse prevention and treatment by 50 percent, not including MassHealth initiatives that expand access to residential treatment and evidence-based care for the state’s most vulnerable populations. For more information on the Commonwealth’s response to the opioid epidemic as well as links to the latest data, visit www.mass.gov/opioidresponse.

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Media Contact

Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is the largest secretariat in state government and is comprised of 12 state agencies, in addition to the 2 soldiers’ homes and the MassHealth insurance program. Our efforts are focused on the health, resilience, and independence of those we serve. Some of our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.

Department of Public Health 

DPH promotes the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, and by focusing on prevention, wellness and health equity in all people.

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