Intalere Member Best Practice Spotlight – Ellenville Regional Hospital – Managing The Opioid Epidemic: Collaboration Between A Critical Access Hospital And A Federally Qualified Healthcare Center
Quantitative and qualitative analysis of Emergency Department visits at Ellenville Regional Hospital, a critical access hospital, revealed that a significant subpopulation was driving hospital utilization due to chronic pain. These visits often resulted in the administration and/or prescription of opioids.
The solution was to reduce the use of opioids as a treatment option for Emergency Department High Utilizer patients by employing a multi-disciplinary, standardized approach and ensuring that appropriate alternatives were accessible to maximize long-term outcomes for these patients.
Emergency Department visits for these High Utilizer patients dropped by 80.1% from 2015 to 2018 (data collected from April to September 2018). In addition, the administration of opioids to these patients dropped by 97.2% for the study period.
The decrease in the use of the ED by these patients not only reflects a changed model of care in the ED, but also effective, long-term patient management through the use of Care Navigator services. Care Navigator links these patients to behavioral, mental or ancillary health services as needed, along with referrals to community-based organizations for other needs.
These services also help to build a pain management contract between the PCP and the patient for opioid use. ERH ED has launched Phase II of this project to offer Medication Assisted Treatment and Recovery for opioid overdose patients where they will be offered MAT/MAR and be linked to a Peer Counselor for support and guidance.
About Ellenville Regional Hospital
Ellenville Regional Hospital (ERH) is a critical access teaching hospital with 25 beds. The hospital is physically adjoined to a satellite of the Institute for Family Health. ERH has approximately 14,000 Emergency Department visits per year, while the Ellenville Family Health Center sees approximately 3,600 patients per year.