It Can Be ‘Next To Impossible’ To Find Nursing Facilities That Will Accept Patients Recovering From Opioid Addiction
Legal experts say that nursing facilities rejecting patients on addiction medication violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, yet an investigation finds that it's a common practice. In more news on the crisis: medical groups are advocating for a new reimbursement model of physicians who treat opioid patients; researchers find that organ transplants from overdose victims fare as well as from traditional donors; West Virginia reaches a settlement with a pharmacy over its distributing practices; and more.
Nursing Homes Routinely Refuse People On Addiction Treatment
Nursing facilities routinely turn away patients seeking post-hospital care if they are taking medicine to treat opioid addiction, a practice that legal experts say violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. After discharge from the hospital, many patients require further nursing care, whether for a short course of intravenous antibiotics, or for a longer stay, such as to rehabilitate after a stroke. But STAT has found that many nursing facilities around the country refuse to accept such patients, often because of stigma, gaps in staff training, and the widespread misconception that abstinence is superior to medications for treating addiction. (Bond, 4/17)
Will New Payment Model For Treating Opioid Abuse Help Meet Demand For Treatment?
The American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine on Monday advocated for a new way to reimburse physicians who treat patients for opioid use disorder, hoping it will help meet the increasing demand for medication-assisted therapies. The new alternative payment model, called Patient-Centered Opioid Addiction Treatment, would give providers an initial, one-time payment to cover the costs associated with evaluating, diagnosing and planning treatment for a patient, as well as a month of outpatient medication-assisted treatment. After the initial payment, subsequent reimbursement would come in the form of monthly "maintenance" payments to cover the cost of providing ongoing outpatient medication-assisted treatment, psychological care and social services." (Johnson, 4/16)
The Associated Press:
Organs From Drug Overdoses Could Help Transplant Shortage
Fatal drug overdoses are increasing organ donations, and researchers reported Monday that people who receive those transplants generally fare as well as patients given organs from more traditional donors. The findings could encourage more use of organs from overdose victims. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University found those transplants have jumped nearly 24-fold since 2000. That was before overdoses were making headlines or most transplant centers considered accepting such organs. (Neergaard, 4/16)
West Virginia Reaches $550k Settlement In Opioid Case
West Virginia has reached a $550,000 settlement with a pharmacy it accused of dispensing nearly 10 million doses of painkillers in 11 years to a county of fewer than 25,000 people, the state attorney general's office announced Monday. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey had alleged that Larry’s Drive-in Pharmacy didn’t identify suspicious prescriptions or determine if it was dispensing a suspicious volume of opioids, according to a press release. (Roubein, 4/16)
Health News Florida:
Improved Care Could Be On The Way For Babies Born Addicted To Drugs
Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio’s introduced the Protecting Newborns from Opioid Abuse Act on Thursday. It would set up a new system of collecting information around mothers and babies affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and sharing it with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There’s been a five-fold increase in these births from 2000 to 2012, with more than 22,000 babies being born with symptoms of withdrawal. (Prieur, 4/16)