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Investigative Analysis And Data Visualization Targeting Oversubscribing Physicians And Pharmacists

The Challenge

The past decade has seen a substantial rise in pharmaceutical and opioid-related abuse, overdoses, and deaths in the state of Alaska. A significant cause of these increases is attributed to the illicit diversion of opioid medications by corrupt physicians and pharmacists—but few healthcare professionals in Alaska had been successfully prosecuted for these crimes.

The KACE Solution

Our federal law enforcement partner brought in KACE to provide analytical and data expertise. KACE organized and overlaid large volumes of practitioner and overdose data to identify trends, links, and known ‘red flag’ indicators across the two data sets.

KACE built advanced data visualization tools to present identified ‘red flag’ indicators, facilitating the targeting of illicit activity and corrupt medical professionals. These visualization tools further compared statistics for each targeted medical practitioner’s activities to average prescription rates—by individual controlled drug and overall—both in Alaska and nationwide.

KACE’s analytical and data solutions facilitated the targeting of corrupt medical professionals by improving the volume and strength of evidence to present to prosecutors as they began to shine a light on the unethical physicians and pharmacists who were significantly contributing to overdose deaths. The data visualization templates created by KACE now accompany prosecution packages throughout the state.

The Impact

The impact was almost immediate.  The enhanced data analytics and visualization capabilities developed by KACE promoted interagency collaboration, allowing the Alaska Medical Board to significantly reduce the amount of time needed to suspend or revoke medical licenses of practitioners who were overprescribing opioids by presenting the Board with clear and overwhelming evidence.

Further, the efficiency achieved in advancing cases quickly led to significant increases in enforcement activities, as medical practitioners began to be charged and prosecuted for their crimes. As a result, Alaska saw a 36% reduction in opioid-related overdose deaths and eight million fewer dosage units of opioids are now being prescribed in Alaska every year as a direct result of enforcement actions, as well as the associated deterrence effect. In a state with a population of fewer than 750,000, this is a significant public health advancement.