June 21, 2018, 1:00 PM ET: Addiction Treatment Demystified: Proven, Practical Steps for Complex Care
- R. Corey Waller, MD, MS, FACEP, DFASAM, Addiction, Pain, Emergency Medicine Specialist; Managing Partner, Complex Care Consulting, LLC; Chair, Legislative Advocacy Committee for the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
- Catherine Mather, MA, Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
About 5 percent of patients in the US are individuals with complex needs. Many show up at hospital emergency departments with a combination of physical, socioeconomic, and behavioral health issues — only to return, again and again, sometimes in worse condition, because the current system isn't set up to address a multitude of problems. The burgeoning field of "complex care" is trying to break the cycle with new interventions and stronger connections to supportive services. .
But addiction, a common thread among the complex patient population, is often dealt with differently. While the recent opioid epidemic has forced health care providers to change some of their prescription practices and to become more knowledgeable about substance use disorders in general, patients themselves are still typically 'referred out' for treatment — to a much less integrated and accessible system, already stretched to its limits.
What could the health care system offer that it's not offering now? That's our focus for the June 21 WIHI: Addiction Treatment Demystified: Proven, Practical Steps for Complex Care.
In advance of the program we invite you to explore the Better Care Playbook website, which curates resources about promising approaches to improving care for people with complex needs. On the site, there is also an essay by Dr. Corey Waller, our featured WIHI panelist, who describes the beginnings of an "ecosystem of treatment" for addiction. He argues that there's substantial evidence of what works for this chronic neurobiological disorder, so care can be standardized in both the acute and ambulatory care environments, and reinforced with social support and services in the community.
Catherine Mather, one of the Playbook's lead content curators, and the six foundations supporting this online resource, share the desire to get health care providers thinking in new ways about addiction as a dimension of complex care, backed up by practical methods and examples.
What do you think? According to Dr. Waller, in any given primary care practice today, some 10 to 15 percent of patients are dealing with addiction. What's the best way to address this? Please bring your questions, concerns, and comments to the June 21 WIHI. We're eager to hear from you.
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