Inpatient addiction consult services in Massachusetts: Insights and recommendations from six model programs

Type: Published Report
Date: March 2024

Citation

Inpatient addiction consult services in Massachusetts: Insights and recommendations from six model programs. Ranjani Paradise, PhD; Nithershini Narayanan, MPH, BDS; Erin McPherson, MPH. RIZE Massachusetts, March 2024.

Abstract

The overdose crisis continues to have devastating consequences nationally and in Massachusetts. The inpatient hospital setting is a potential intervention point where people at risk for overdose can be identified and connected to evidence-based treatment and harm reduction services. Inpatient addiction consult service (ACS) programs are a well-established approach for this, and have been shown to improve patient and provider satisfaction, increase patient engagement in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment post-discharge, and reduce readmissions, among other outcomes. An inpatient ACS program can provide a comprehensive range of services and typically includes care from a provider with expertise in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, as well as social worker and peer support specialist (e.g., recovery coach) support. Despite the strong evidence base, there remains an implementation gap, and ACS programs are not offered in many hospital settings. Though there are published reports of some programs, there is a need for more detailed accounts of ACS implementation in a range of contexts. In this report, we provide case studies of six ACS programs at hospitals of different types and sizes across Massachusetts, as well as cross-cutting themes and recommendations for the field.

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