Solution: Make it easy for general and acute care hospitals to provide substance abuse services to needy patients.
Although a disproportionate number of patients who enter Emergency Rooms present with a substance use disorder, and the substance use disorder is a primary or secondary cause for the patient seeking care, most emergency rooms are neither trained nor equipped to provide meaningful treatment to these patients. Since Medicaid service rates are insufficient, hospitals find they are unable to afford to provide the required service.
In most cases, once medical care has been applied and the patient is ready for discharge, he or she is given a phone number of a local treatment provider to call to seek admission. There is no way to know or track how many of these seek or receive help. For those that do seek help, there is no way for the hospital to track the quality of the outcome. Once at a community treatment center, the patient falls outside the constellation of medical services provided by the hospital staff.
In larger urban center, there is an increasing likelihood for the patient to receive an injection of buprenorphine. Studies have found that patients receiving buprenorphine prior to leaving the emergency room, are much more likely to seek out treatment on their own. Further, several larger urban hospitals have also secured grants to pay for case workers to follow up with the patients. Bottom line, while some large urban hospitals are developing programs to help with this problem, but most rural hospitals and smaller independent hospitals are not.
Why Is This So Urgent Now?
- The physical healing of these patients will never be relieved until the addiction is under control.
- While historically the healing of addiction and mental health has been very separated from each other, current evidence-based practice shows that we need to treat the whole patient and cannot divide mental health issues and physical health issues.
- The IRS requires a new Community Health Needs Assessment every three years from any hospital receiving federal funds. In practically every CHNA published, combatting substance abuse is among the top priorities. It is #1 at Doylestown Health. It is #2 at Grand View Health.
- Most acknowledge however that not enough is being done. For example, some now claim that hospitals who do not provide suitable treatment for patients with addictions may be violating the Emergency Medical and Labor Treatment Act, the American with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- I believe most hospitals want to do something to help, but do not have the means to practically get involved. We can change that.
How We Can Help
We will execute a management contract with the hospital to stand up and serve its patients through an accredited addiction treatment program under a 100% variable payment structure based on collections. Incarnate Recovery has been providing this service to a Nashville based non-profit for over 30 years, and can do the same for our hospital partner. In our current program, the bulk of the revenue is sourced through a state funded block grant. We know how to design a high-quality program under any mix of payers.
While under treatment for their addiction, the patient is also afforded the opportunity to receive medical services from the hospital as well. As a result, the whole patient is being treated, and as a result outcomes of the full person are improved.
Jim Phillips founded M.W. Incarnate Capital, Inc. in 2018 to fund and manage a portfolio of growing businesses. Based on the firm’s experience managing the award-winning Samaritan Recovery Community in Nashville, Jim formed Incarnate Recovery as a separate operating division to exclusively focus on building programs and facilities for other community-based addiction recovery centers nationwide. Samaritan focuses its service on the poor, indigent, and homeless, and has consistently demonstrated outcomes higher than the national averages, while operating profitably for 30 years.
Before turning his exclusive attention to substance abuse recovery, Jim enjoyed a successful 35 year career in entrepreneurialism and private equity, including acting as CEO of XMI Holdings which exceeded $50 million of consolidated revenue annually, and was responsible for creating thousands of diverse jobs through its growth equity investments.