How to Pay for It: MAT for Hospitalized Patients

Sandra Newman, LSN Health Strategy


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Patients with opioid addiction are frequently hospitalized due to complications of the condition without also receiving treatment for the underlying disease of opioid use disorder. This is a missed opportunity and leaves patients at high risk of future overdose. These hospitalizations are an ideal time to start medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for addiction and to connect patients to ongoing outpatient services.

Buprenorphine and methadone — the most common medications for opioid addiction — are considered the gold standard for evidence-based treatment and can be easily started and maintained in inpatient settings by either hospitalists or hospital-based addiction medicine consultation services.

This paper, How to Pay for It: Inpatient MAT, describes how MAT is reimbursed in acute inpatient settings, addressing three areas for payment:

  • Professional services — how clinicians are reimbursed
  • Hospital costs
  • Pharmacy costs associated with the medication

Hospitals may save money in additional ways, since patients treated for their underlying opioid use disorder may have shorter lengths of stay and/or lower readmission rates.

Download the paper and read the full analysis below.

Explore the full How to Pay for It series. You can also sign up for CHCF updates on opioid safety.