When it comes to providing Continuing Care Services to patients discharged from inpatient detox or rehabilitation, how is New York State doing? According to Pat Lincourt, Director of OASAS’s Division of Practice Innovation and Care Management, there is room for improvement.
In a presentation she gave at the Special Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Summit meeting on February 28th to managed care behavioral health medical directors, she reported that less than half of eligible patients with drug and/or alcohol dependency issues receive Continuing Care Services statewide. (Continuity of care is defined by a follow-up Lower Level of Care visit for patients diagnosed with alcohol and other drug dependence within 14 days of discharge from an inpatient detox or rehab program.)
To improve access to care and provide eligible patients with the ongoing support and therapies they need, OASAS announced that it will be supporting a limited number of BHCCs to work with a detox and/or rehab center and Managed Care Organization (MCO) to address the issue. The goal: To increase the connection rate of people discharged from detox or rehab to the community and ensure continuity of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with no gap.
OASAS’s new Continuity of Care project is designed to encourage BHCCs to innovate with better discharge planning practices, access agreements, peer support and follow-up visits, as well as partner with community based organizations to address patients’ housing, social, and legal needs, and other Social Determinants of Health.
LESC BHCC is considering submitting a proposal for the Continuity of Care project in the near future. “We see this as an important opportunity to improve the quality of care for patients struggling with alcohol and drug dependency issues,” says Valerie Walters, LESC President and Chief Executive Officer. “And we believe that the LESC BHCC is uniquely positioned and qualified to participate in this effort.”
You can find the full OASAS presentation in the “Resources” folder in Dropbox.