A report released by 340B Health states 340B Hospitals are among many leaders addressing the U.S. Opioid epidemic. The report looked at six 340B Hospitals across the country that are working closely with their local community in efforts to reach people where they live, work and pray to spread these initiatives.
A few initiatives that these 340B Hospitals underwent to combat the epidemic were:
- community education
- changed in prescribing patterns
- prescription drug take-back programs
- treatment to reverse an overdose
CHI St. Gabriel’s Health, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Little Falls, MN has been working tirelessly with the community to fight the epidemic. They have enforced an initiative called the “pain contract” in which the patient agrees to be weaned from opioid use and subject themselves to random urine and blood screens. Over 600 patients have already participated. So far their work had led to more than 340 patients have been weaned from their reliance on narcotic medications, and the number of pills prescribed dropped from 38,000 in January 2015 to 21,500 in January 2018.
MetroHealth, a 700+ bed Disproportionate Share Hospital in Cleaveland, OH is also working on ending the epidemic. In 2012, MetroHealth launched Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) which provides walk-in services to help people with opioid use disorder, family, and friends identify risk factors for an opioid overdose and learn how to respond to such an emergency. Their efforts are also going outside the hospital. A community based quick response team will now go to overdose victims homes. These teams hand out free Naloxone kits and will connect people to local treatment centers.
“340B hospitals often are at the forefront of addressing national health challenges,” said 340B Health President and Chief Executive Officer Maureen Testoni. “While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to confronting the opioid epidemic, we see how these six hospitals have developed successful approaches tailored to the needs of their communities.”
To read the rest of the six 340B hospital’s work, click here.
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