A new study makes a business case for establishing an in-hospital intervention program for patients affected by substance use disorder.
The study, published online today in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, asserts the financial justification for OHSU’s Project IMPACT, or Improving Addiction Care Team. The project brings together physicians, social workers, peer-recovery mentors and community addiction providers to address addiction – often the root cause of serious medical and surgical problems – when patients are admitted to the hospital.
“There’s a quality case but also a business case for developing a model,” said lead author Honora Englander, M.D., an associate professor of medicine (hospital medicine) in the OHSU School of Medicine. “Addressing addiction in the hospital setting allows us to reach patients who wouldn’t otherwise access care. And it is one of those key opportunities where doing the right thing can lead to better quality and cost savings.”
The study was the basis for Project IMPACT, which began in 2015. The study found that, by investing in addiction interventions, insurers and hospitals might recoup the investment and even save money through reducing costly readmissions and longer-than-expected lengths of stay. Englander said the next stage of research will measure clinical and cost outcomes achieved through the program.
“Our model addresses a widespread need, and could be adapted to other hospitals, SUD treatment organizations, and Medicaid payers,” the researchers conclude.
In addition to OHSU, other study author included representatives from Central City Concern, CODA Inc., and the School of Social Work at Portland State University. The study, “Planning and Designing the Improving Addiction Care Team (IMPACT) for Hospitalized Adults with Substance Use Disorder,” was funded by OHSU and CareOregon.