“We were excited to learn that not only was ED-initiated buprenorphine more effective in engaging patients in treatment, but it was cost-effective. All insurance payers and healthcare systems should be interested in these results.”
~Dr. Gail D’Onofrio, M.D., Yale University
Can a trip to the ER be a wake-up call?
A brand-new study reveals that better screening and starting the use of anti-craving medication when an opioid abuser visits the Emergency Room can have significant benefits. According to researchers at Yale University, initiating buprenorphine use while the patient is still in the ER is both more cost-effective AND better at prompting enrollment in a treatment program, compared to other standard approaches.
When comparing the average healthcare costs for patients with untreated opioid addiction for the 30 days following their trip to the ER, the Yale study found:
- Cost for a standard referral only: $1977
- For a brief intervention and referral: $1805
- For those who were screened for an addiction to opioids, given anti-craving medication in the ER, and then given a referral for continuing treatment: $1752
This is 12% less than the referral-only option. And in a public health sector that is always in need of more funding for treatment services, those dollars make a difference.
Even better, those patients treated in the ER were twice as likely to be in an addiction treatment program. Additionally, during those subsequent 30 days, they misused opioids for fewer days, on average.
This demonstrates that addiction is a disorder of the brain, causing physical and chemical changes that turn misuse into an irresistible compulsion. And the sooner treatment begins, the better the potential outcome.
Medication-Assisted Treatment is just one of the evidence-based recovery tools used by Lasting Recovery, a CARF-certified outpatient drug rehab program in San Diego. If you are ready to get help for drinking or drug use that has gone beyond your control, contact Lasting Recovery today.
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