A pilot program in the South New Hampshire region that focuses on multi-agency care coordination for substance use disorder patients reported that the program has helped to reduce overdoses and fatalities related to substance abuse by 34 percent and saved $1.9 million in utilization costs.
Harbor Homes, a nonprofit organization providing support services to low-income individuals in the Greater Nashua and Southern New Hampshire regions, is piloting the Nashua Safe Station program, which coordinates multiple agencies to provide integrated primary, behavioral care and peer support services to address whole-person care for substance use disorder patients. The use of a care coordination software platform enables interagency data sharing for timely, coordinated care.
The Nashua Safe Station program has reported a 34 percent decrease in overdoses and fatalities related to substance use disorder since November 2016, based on historical information from the same period in 2015. In addition, the community, at large, has saved an estimated $1.9 million from individuals who have entered the program and spent the night in medical respite instead of visiting the emergency department.
Opioid addiction is a national epidemic, killing more than 52,000 people in 2016, according to a press release from the organization. In addition, in 2014 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services attributed $55 billion in health and social costs related to prescription opioid abuse, and $20 billion in emergency department and inpatient care for opioid poisonings.
The Safe Station program utilizes a care coordination platform, called ClientTrack, from Salt Lake City-based vendor Eccovia Solutions.
Samantha Cassista, quality improvement specialist, Harbor Homes, said in a statement that the Safe Station program is an important component to addressing substance use disorders in Southern New Hampshire. “Coordinating multiple agencies that are providing diverse services for low-income individuals is not only complex, but there are unique challenges for integrated care. The results seen thus far in the program reflect an immediate community-wide cost savings stemming from fewer emergency room visits, and, more importantly, a reduction in overdose-related fatalities. Without ClientTrack, the Partnership for Successful Living wouldn’t be able to provide the timely, coordinated care needed to assist those in need and influence change under the Safe Station program.”
As part of New Hampshire’s five-year 1115 Medicaid Waiver to transform the state’s behavioral health delivery system, the community of Nashua collaborated to create the Safe Station program. In 2016, Partnership for Successful Living, a collaboration between six agencies – including Harbor Homes – that provide coordinated residential, primary, behavioral care and support services to low-income individuals, worked closely with the mayor of Nashua and the local fire stations to establish the program to help break down barriers for individuals with SUD seeking assistance.
In addition to the cost savings and reduction in overdose-related death, Safe Station has reported 97 percent of program participants have been evaluated by a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), 80 percent of whom have gone on to receive at least one service from the Partnership for Successful Living.
“Nashua is leading the way for communities seeking innovative solutions to end the opioid crisis,” Carl Champagne, CEO of Eccovia Solutions, said in a statement.
All six members of the Partnership for Successful Living use the care coordination software platform, allowing administrative leaders to track the progress of program participants from when they set foot in the fire station, receive help from a LADC and join different programs. Nearly 200 individuals have sought help, received evaluations and have enrolled in programs appropriate to the level of care needed since Nashua established its Safe Station program, according to a press release.
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