Ideally, when a person suffering from a substance use disorder goes to the hospital, they will receive coordinated care that treats both their primary symptoms and addresses the underlying causes of their substance abuse. Until recently, physicians at Mercy Health, a network of hospitals based in Ohio, experienced considerable frustration, finding themselves at a loss for how to follow-up with and provide ongoing care to patients who came in with overdose or addiction symptoms.
With eight to ten people coming to the ER with overdoses daily, there was an ongoing problem with many patients ending up on long waitlists for addiction care, making repeat ER visits, and sometimes even dying.
With this in mind, Mercy has started to team up with addiction care providers to create an expedited treatment path for addicts. Now there are ten collaborative agreements in place to give patients a short-term, hospital-based detox followed by treatment in an outpatient partner facility approved by the hospital network.
This means no more days spent waiting for care at recovery facilities or starting detox without proper supportive care. Patients who show signs of addiction will immediately begin treatment, thus minimizing their chance of future relapse. This is important because, between 2000 and 2015, the rate of overdose deaths in Ohio went up 642 percent, making it one of the states most affected by the opioid epidemic.
As of January 2018, the Mercy Health hospital network will be pairing up with these ten addiction and rehabilitative treatment centers to offer expedited treatment in locations throughout Cincinnati:
- City Gospel Mission
- Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services
- Health Experiences• Joseph House• Margaret Mary Health
- Sunrise Treatment Center
- Talbert House
- Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs
In collaboration, Mercy Health and these providers will work in tandem to expand access to addiction care, standardize care, and ensure continuity of care for everyone in the program. There is also a plan to extend the program further after the first quarter of 2018 to help even more people who are vulnerable to overdose, relapse, and even death.
“In what we believe is a new patient care model for the region, these agreements signal true cooperation between Mercy Health and its addiction treatment partners. The agreements will help ensure that patients receive needed care and ongoing treatment services in a coordinated and timely fashion,” says Mike Garfield, Mercy Health – Cincinnati CEO and SVP. “They also allow us to further act on our opioid initiative by growing our ability to address and be more responsive to the enormous opioid problem facing our communities,” he added.
Another Source of Help Is Available
While partnerships between hospital systems and addiction treatment facilities may not always be available in your area, there are other options that you can leverage to get the help you need. In the Columbus, Ohio area, you can contact Recovery Village Columbus for immediate help for yourself or a loved one suffering from substance use disorder. Contact us to learn about inpatient and outpatient drug rehabilitation and counseling. Support is available, and we will work with you to ensure your long-term recovery and wellbeing.