Health

Health care providers in Kentucky have a new tool to gauge how their prescribing patterns compare with their peers. The state has launched a Prescriber Report Card that’s aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse.

The individualized reports are an enhancement to the state’s KASPER program — Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting. KASPER shows all prescriptions for an individual over a specified time period, the prescriber, and the dispenser.

The Prescriber Report Cards allow physicians to compare how their prescribing practices stack up against other doctors in their specialty area. This self-reflection can help medical providers decide if they need to make adjustments to their prescribing habits.

“It’ll be a tool in the future to help combat the opioid and other substance abuse problems that Kentucky is seeing now,” said Steve Davis, inspector general for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The report cards can also be used as an investigative tool for regulatory agencies. Professional licensure boards will be able to get copies of the report cards to support their licensee reviews.

The report cards are one more tool for combating the opioid epidemic in Kentucky, which lost 1,404 people to drug overdoses in 2016.