The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3344.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 8:31 PM

Abstract #46331

Measuring initiation of treatment following detoxification from alcohol and/ or drugs

Mady Chalk, PhD, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockwall II Building, Suite 740, 5515 Security Lane, Rockville, MD 20852, 301-443-8796,

This paper examines the role that process of care performance measures can play in improving the outcomes of alcohol and drug treatment. The paper focuses more specifically on one measure developed and tested under the aegis of the Washington Circle Group: the patient has an index claim for detoxification with an alcohol ordrug diagnosis followed, within 14 days, by an outpatient (non-emergency room and non-detoxification) claim or by an inpatient alcohol or drug admission. Recent studies of the linkage between detoxification and alcohol ordrug treatment services show that most persons who receive inpatient detoxification did not also receive treatment while inpatients. While results vary, one recent study showed that about 48 percent of patients received treatment following detoxification and only 28 percent of the most severe patients receive continuing treatment. Patients who receive detoxification alone, compared with those who receive treatment following detoxification, are less likely to have positive outcomes; and repeated admissions to detoxification services are very costly. Moreover, treatment models have changed significantly in the last 10 years, from inpatient detoxification accompanied by inpatient treatment to more recent models with detoxification occurring in one setting and treatment in another. Such a change, however, requires patients to make transitions from one setting to another in the early stages of treatment. Ensuring accountability for entry into treatment following detoxification will focus attention on which appropriate organization and financing policies can be developed that support quality improvement in alcohol and drug services and linkages between detoxification and treatment.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Performance Measures for Substance Abuse: Opportunities and Challenges

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA