Thursday, November 15 | Legislative/Policy, EHR Solutions and Operations, Thought Leadership, Human Services

Driving Recovery in the Opioid Crisis: The Technology to Get Us There

By Neal Tilghman, Senior Director & GM, Integrated Care

The opioid crisis has been long in the making and has yet to cease force as it continues to permeate the healthcare community. Drug use admission rates have increased 500 percent since the early 2000s.

According to the CDC, there were more than 63,000 overdose deaths in 2016, which surpasses the number of car accidents and gun deaths in that same year. When studying the opioid epidemic, it’s important to consider the causes of addiction, which can range from genetics, overprescribing and dual diagnoses leading to irregulated self-medication. It’s clear there is no one target to blame, which makes the crisis even more dynamic and challenging.

So, what can the healthcare community do to combat the opioid crisis? The reality is that there is no one remedy; however, the solution must be aggressive, multifaceted and technology-based. A key asset to facing this epidemic is facilitating whole-person care by utilizing an integrated or “blended” treatment approach. This can be achieved with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, care coordination, increasing peer and recovery support and patient and family engagement. The better the outcome the greater the cost savings for the larger healthcare ecosystem. The combination of treatment types has proven results, with a 50 percent lower risk of relapse and costs cut nearly in half. It is imperative that organizations with technology platforms support and enhance whole-person care.

Recovery Resources in Ohio is on the front lines of the crisis. The organization optimizes technology as part of their clinical decision-making process. Electronic health records (EHRs) and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) allow facilities like Recovery Resources to have increased access to integrated health data and treatment information, which empowers clinicians to make more informed clinical and medical decisions. In relation to the opioid crisis, PDMPs give providers real-time access to patient histories and allows for intervention when someone is abusing prescriptions or doctor shopping for multiple refills of opioids or other controlled substances.

Telehealth technology addresses a substantial impediment to treatment, access to care. It provides timely access to specialized care during crises, expands care options to existing clients and can help a family remain intact when a parent is recovering. This is achieved by providing increased treatment flexibility and immediate access to treatment when a parent is in recovery. Telehealth removes barriers to treatment such as transportation, missed appointments and lack of patient engagement. Individuals don’t have to choose between work and a doctor’s appointment, therefore their treatment becomes more flexible and achievable. The concept of creating a comprehensive network of providers to bring healthcare directly to the consumer not only has the potential to drastically improve health outcomes, but lower costs by empowering providers to deliver care in the lowest acuity setting possible.

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) have been a catalyst that technology vendors have used to expand solutions in order to establish a foundation for achieving value-based care. From an addictions perspective, technology supporting value-based care must provide solutions for analytics, evidence-based practices, care coordination, consumer engagement, interoperability and accounting. CCBHC has also been pivotal in expanding opioid treatment capacity. Nearly 40 percent of CCBHC organizations began offering Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) as a new service in addition to 43 percent expanding already existing MAT programs.

Although the battle has not been won, progress combating the opioid crisis has been made. The massive Opioid Bill recently signed by the White House addresses caseload caps for waivered physicians, expands MAT and removes barriers that limit telehealth as a method of treatment. The bill also includes a financial incentive for EHR implementation in behavioral health and substance use organizations. Along with a legislative push, technology is a crucial for change, and in this case can work to make addiction treatment more efficient, proactive and patient centered.

To find out more about the work Recovery Resources is doing, watch the webinar here.

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Neal Tilghman Blog Photo
Neal Tilghman · Senior Director & GM, Integrated Care

From the CareThreads Blog

CareThreads Blog Stock Image for SiteCore (370 × 158 px) (1)

Part 2: The Development of Peers in the United States and Other Regions of the World 

Thursday, August 11 | Human Services,Thought Leadership,Value-based Care

In our recent blog, Origins of Peer Support for Individuals with Mental Illness, we discussed how the value of peers in support of the mentally ill has been recognized for a very long time, but its popularity varied since its first reported use in France in the 1800s. The voices of those with serious mental illness were finally being heard, helping change attitudes from professional protectiveness to “Nothing about us without us.” In this section we will discuss the more recent history of peers in the United States and how the growth of peer support varied between different countries.

More

Part 1: Origins of Peer Support for Individuals with Mental Illness

Thursday, July 28 | Human Services,Thought Leadership,Value-based Care

Peers have gained increased visibility and prominence in today’s behavioral health system. In this six-part blog series, we will discuss how the peer movement evolved in mental health and substance use care. We will also share the current state of the peer movement and what the future looks like for these services. In the first part of the series, we begin by looking at the interesting history of peer support for individuals with mental illness that dates back more than 200 years.

More

Unlocking Success in Palliative Care for Providers and Patients

Thursday, July 21 | Thought Leadership,Post-Acute Care,Value-based Care

Palliative care has seen tremendous growth as providers have begun to unlock the keys to profitability through value-based contracts. Now considered one of the highest demand and most needed services in the post-acute care continuum, industry leaders unpack the skills need to expand service lines, an advanced technology platform, interoperability, and pursuing a value-based contract to improve patient care and reduce costs.

More