Participation in a Hospital Incentive Program for Follow-up Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

The engagement of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in treatment after hospital discharge is a key strategy in preventing subsequent opioid overdose. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services established an incentive program to improve the rate of OUD follow-up treatment among Medicaid recipients. PISC Current Trainee Austin Kilaru, MD, Executive Committee Member Zachary Meisel, MD, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of all hospitals with an emergency department in Pennsylvania to evaluate participation in the Opioid Hospital Quality Improvement Program.

Of 155 hospitals that met the inclusion criteria, 79 (51%) attested to all 4 pathways, 45 (29%) attested to fewer than 4 pathways, and 31 (20%) declined to attest to any pathway. Kilaru et al. found that factors contributing to full participation in all 4 pathways included hospital size, health system affiliation, region, and county overdose rate. Although most hospitals participated in the program, more were willing to arrange warm handoffs to community treatment facilities rather than initiate medication treatment for OUD.

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