Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

The Wisconsin Medical Society, utilizing data compiled by the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), has created the “Did You Know” series to keep you informed of health care cost and quality in Wisconsin. “Did You Know” is designed to broaden your understanding of some of the differences in health care depending on region, demographics, procedures, treatments and conditions.

Featured topics:

  • Congestive Heart Failure – Click here.
  • Diabetes – Click here.
  • Radiology – Click here.
  • Knee Replacement – Click here.
  • Insurance Coverage – Click here.
  • Medicaid and Mental Health – Click here.
  • The Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO) – Click here.
  • Physician Burnout – Click here.
  • C-section Births – Click here.


Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin as well as powerful pain relievers available by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others. Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but they are frequently misused because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief. Regular use—even as prescribed by a doctor—can produce dependence, and when misused or abused, opioids can lead to a fatal overdose.

Did you know?

  • Orthopedic Care accounts for 63 percent of annual opioid prescriptions statewide (Figure 1).
  • Patients with Medicaid are almost twice as likely to be prescribed opioids as patients with commercial coverage (Figure 1).
  • Opioid prescription rates increase with age, with adults aged 45 to 64 receiving more than 3 times as many prescriptions per 1,000 than adults aged 18 to 30 (Figure 2).
  • There has been a gradual decline in opioid prescription rates during 2016 (Figure 3).
  • Joint degeneration accounts for over one-third of all opioid prescriptions (36%), with joint degeneration of the back accounting for the largest portion (21%) (Figure 4).

Download a PDF version of Figure 1


Download a PDF version of Figure 2


Download a PDF version of Figure 3


Download a PDF version of Figure 4