Medication Access for Opioid Use Disorder Lower Among Those Involved with Criminal Justice System

Among people with opioid use disorder (OUD), more than half have reported contact with the criminal justice system. A new study published today in Health Affairs reveals that Medicaid expansion is associated with substantial improvements in access to medications for OUD. However, the study also reveals that individuals referred for treatment by the criminal justice system were substantially less likely to receive medications for OUD as part of the treatment plan.

Read more

Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) Announces Grants Totaling $1.3 Million to Assess Impact of COVID-19 on Opioid Use Disorder Treatment and Equity

The coronavirus pandemic has led to several temporary regulatory relaxations and policy innovations in treatment for opioid use disorder aimed at making it easier for those seeking care to access treatment without risking in-person interactions. The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) today announced it is providing grants totaling $1.3 million to six organizations to assess the impact of these temporary measures and inform future policies to improve access and promote equity for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

Read more

Financial Incentives for Hospitals Boost Rapid Changes to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

In a study at Penn researchers found that Pennsylvania’s financial incentive policy encouraged hospitals to enact rapid changes to support treatment for opioid use disorder for patients visiting the ED, and evaluates the efficacy of the Opioid Hospital Quality Improvement Program.

Read more

Analysis finds gaps in care in treating opioid use disorders during pandemic shutdowns

Study finds no decrease in prescription fills or clinician visits in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic for patients recently receiving opioid use disorder therapy.
On the flip side, the study found that during this period fewer people started new treatment for opioid use disorder and fewer urine tests were given across both new and established patients.
Findings identify strengths and weaknesses in telemedicine’s role for opioid use disorder during shutdowns and can inform strategies for improvement.

Read more

Opioid Use Disorder? Electronic Health Records Help Pinpoint Probable Patients

A new study suggests that patients with opioid use disorder may be identified using information available in electronic health records, even when diagnostic codes do not reflect this diagnosis. The study demonstrates the utility of proxies coding for DSM-5 criteria from medical records to generate a quantitative DSM-5 score that is associated with opioid use disorder severity. The study methods are unique in deriving a severity score that aims to mirror severity scores from more traditional interview-based diagnostic procedures.

Read more

Patients’ Access to Opioid Treatment Cumbersome

The “secret shopper” study used trained actors attempting to get into treatment with an addiction provider in 10 U.S. states. The results, with more than 10,000 unique patients, revealed numerous challenges in scheduling a first-time appointment to receive medications for opioid use disorder, including finding a provider who takes insurance rather than cash.

Read more

HEALing Communities Strategy Fast-Tracked Due to COVID-19

When Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the early release of some Kentucky inmates due to COVID-19 concerns, the team behind the HEALing Communities Study worked quickly to fast-track one of the evidence-based practices for preventing opioid deaths that was due to launch later this year: the distribution of naloxone to individuals at highest risk for overdose, particularly those being released from local jails.

Read more

Nearly One-Third of Primary Care Providers Do Not View Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder as Effective

A new survey of U.S. primary care physicians from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that nearly one-third, 32.9 percent, do not think treating opioid use disorder with medication is any more effective than treatment without medication.

Read more

Study Reveals Pharmacy-level Barriers to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Appalachian Kentucky

A new study led by University of Kentucky researcher April Young and Emory University researcher Hannah Cooper shows that a number of pharmacies in the Appalachian region of Kentucky are limiting the dispensing of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD).

Read more

Medication Treatments Led to 80 Percent Lower Risk of Fatal Overdose for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder than Medication-free Treatments

Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) receiving treatment with opioid agonists (medications such as methadone or buprenorphine) had an 80 percent lower risk of dying from an opioid overdose compared to patients in treatment without the use of medications.

Read more

Most Youths Surviving Opioid Overdose Not Getting Timely Treatment to Avoid Recurrence

A study of more than 4 million Medicaid claims records during a recent seven-year period concludes that less than a third of the nearly 3,800 U.S. adolescents and young adults who experienced a nonfatal opioid overdose got timely (within 30 days) follow-up addiction treatment to curb or prevent future misuse and reduce the risk of a second overdose.

Read more