WEST BLOOMFIELD – Amid the unrelenting opioid crisis, a partnership project between Henry Ford Maplegrove Center and Blue Care Network (BCN) is showing positive results for patients battling opioid addiction.
Since March 2019, Maplegrove’s relapse rate for BCN opioid patients has dropped to 14 percent from 23 percent when the pilot started in June 2018.
In addition, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), prescriptions are currently being filled by 78 percent of patients when they transition to outpatient care, compared to 36 percent previously.
The pilot – Community-based Life-changing Individualized Medically-assisted evidence-Based treatment program, or CLIMB, was created to reduce relapse rates of patients treated for opioid use disorder (OUD). BCN selected Maplegrove and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services to partner on CLIMB. The two substance abuse treatment centers were selected based on the treatment models they already had in place and for having lower than average patient relapse rates.
"The pilot has confirmed that what we’ve been doing and advocating for is the right way to meet the needs of patients with opioid use disorder and that this chronic disease needs longer term treatment, starting with inpatient, stepping down to rehab, then to outpatient with intensive therapy, – a year of treatment is really going to be what’s great for these patients”,
says Elizabeth Bulat, M.D., Maplegrove’s medical director.
The success has resulted in the pilot being extended to this fall. In addition to BCN members, providers can now also refer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PPO members to the CLIMB program.
CLIMB’s evidence based treatment protocol was originally made available to 250 Blue Care Network and BCN Advantage members suffering from OUD. Limited data from the pilot program so far suggests that when patients have access to intensive inpatient and outpatient treatment that is individualized, long-term sobriety is more attainable.
CLIMB protocols include:
- Education for patients and families regarding addiction being a chronic brain disease.
Inpatient detox (a longer length of stay provided if needed).
- Medication assisted therapy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.
- Intensive outpatient program (includes family support).
“The CLIMB pilot has improved collaboration between the insurers and the providers which is great for patients and I think has the potential of being good for the field of addiction medicine. We’re able to reach out and say the patient definitely needs another week or two inpatient and they’ll work with us and support that,” Dr. Bulat says.
Other program successes include an improvement in the continuity and hand off of patients transitioning from inpatient to outpatient care, adds Dr. Bulat.
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