Reduction in Oregon's Medication Dosing Visits After the SARS-CoV-2 Relaxation of Restrictions on Take-home Medication

John W. McIlveen, Kim Hoffman, Kelsey C. Priest, Dongseok Choi, Phillip Todd Korthuis, Dennis McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

To slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in opioid treatment programs (OTPs), SAMHSA notified State Opioid Treatment Authorities that stable patients could receive up to 27 days of take-homes, less stable patients could receive up to 13 days with fewer take-homes for other patients. An analysis assessed how the relaxed standards affected the number of patient dosing visits and the amount of take-home medications dispensed in Oregon's 20 public, nonprofit, and for-profit OTPs. OTPs reported the number of patients receiving take homes pre and post federal policy change at 3 time points: pre SARS-CoV-2 (February or first half of March), post 1 SARS-CoV-2 (March, April, or May), and post 2 SARS-CoV-2 (April, May, or June). The patients receiving each quantity of take-homes were counted and means calculated for visits and take-homes per patient per month. A negative binomial mixed-effects regression model assessed change in mean dosing visits per patient. During the pre SARS-CoV-2 period, OTPs served 7792 patients monthly with 120,513 medication visits and dispensed 44,883 take-home doses. Mean patient visits per month were 15.5 with 5.8 take-homes per patient per month. Following the policy change, medication visits declined 33% and take-home medication increased 97% with 10.4 mean visits per patient and 11.3 mean take-homes per patient. The negative binomial mixed-effects regression model estimated a 54% reduction in mean visits per patient. The policy change had the intended effect. More research is needed to assess unintended consequences associated with increased access to take-home medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-518
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of addiction medicine
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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