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.