Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder Following Nonfatal Overdose
Abstract: The opioid crisis is devastating American communities. The emergency department (ED) provides life-saving care to patients who overdose and offers opportunities to engage patients in long-term treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Early initiation of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and referral to community treatment resources from the ED are evidence-based strategies for preventing opioid overdose death. However, it is presumed that few patients who are treated for opioid-related illness in the ED successfully transition to ambulatory treatment. The objective of this proposal is to describe healthcare services delivered to privately insured overdose survivors following treatment and discharge from the ED. We will accomplish this objective through a retrospective cohort study using the Optum Clinformatics DataMart, a large national private insurance claims database. We will determine the rate at which patients access follow-up care and MAT, as well as the timing and location of the follow-up care. The proposed research has immediate implications for payers, policymakers, and providers who seek to implement strategies that expand access to treatment for OUD following ED encounters.