Prevalence and Patterns of Opioid Use Disorder Among Veterans Discharged to Post-Acute Care

Pilot Project

Prevalence and Patterns of Opioid Use Disorder Among Veterans Discharged to Post-Acute Care

Prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) is rising among older adults. Older adults increasingly utilize postacute care (PAC) following a hospitalization. Veterans receive PAC services with home health care or in skilled nursing facilities within and outside the Veterans Administration. Several factors, including stigma and need for medication assisted therapy for OUD, create barriers to PAC access and delivery for veterans with OUD. This study evaluates referral patterns of older veterans with a diagnosis of OUD to PAC settings and describes patient characteristics and outcomes relative to all veterans referred to PAC. The unique Residential History File (RHF) enables examination of discharges to PAC among all older Veterans across VA and non-VA settings of PAC, important as more than 80% of PAC for veterans is received in non-VA facilities. Results will describe trends in the number of veterans with OUD referred to PAC from 2012 to 2016, including where veterans are referred, patient characteristics, and PAC outcomes. Findings will inform a career development award examining PAC health outcome of veterans with OUD using methodologies to address endogenous selection of PAC site. Skilled nursing facilities are an understudied touchpoint in the treatment of OUD, necessitating further inquiry to understand and implement integrated health services in PAC settings for a high risk, high cost population.