Good policymaking depends on reliable evaluations of state-level policies. But reliable evaluations face multiple barriers, including whether statistical models can disentangle the effects of concurrently implemented policies.
We conducted simulations to test the performance of commonly used statistical models and to assess how concurrently implemented policies affected the evaluation of hypothetical state-level policies. We created a tool which allows users to explore how the different models perform under varying policy scenarios. Our findings highlight several key methodological issues regarding co-occurring policies in the context of opioid-policy research yet also generalize more broadly to evaluation of other state-level policies, such as policies related to firearms or COVID-19, showcasing the need to think critically about co-occurring policies that are likely to influence the outcome when specifying analytic models.
We always welcome your comments and suggestions at OPTIC@rand.org. – Beth Ann Griffin, Co-Director OPTIC
This study examined the rates of subsequent buprenorphine treatment for buprenorphine-naïve individuals filling buprenorphine prescriptions from emergency physicians and initiated buprenorphine treatment and how such rates varied before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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OPTIC is designed to be a national resource, fostering innovative and high-quality research in opioid policy science, and developing and disseminating methods, tools, and information to the research community, policymakers, and other stakeholders.