204762 A peek under the covers: What special studies tell us about trends in substance abuse treatment spending

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:24 PM

Cheryl A. Kassed, PhD , Behavioral Health and Quality Research, Thomson Reuters, Washington, DC
Over 22 million people in the U.S. have a substance abuse (SA) or dependence disorder, which can include abuse of illicit drugs, prescription medications, alcohol, or a combination of these. Given the immense burden of disability associated with SA, understanding characteristics of the investment in treatment services has important implications for resource planning, health care reform, and practice.

Spending patterns revealed through the SAMHSA Spending Estimates project have prompted special studies to more closely examine issues surrounding SA services, and several studies have focused specifically on how SA treatment is provided in community hospitals. Analyses of data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases show that the use of specialty units within general hospitals to treat SA conditions varies widely across states. Often, persons with SA conditions are first diagnosed during hospital visits for intoxication or other medical complications related to their SA. Upon stabilization, community hospitals have the potential to link patients to rehabilitation and recovery services to help them move toward improved health outcomes. However, analysis of HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample data found that most people treated for SA in community hospitals receive only detoxification without further rehabilitation. Of those with private insurance, analyses of MarketScan claims data show that most people do not receive follow-up care within 30 days after inpatient detoxification. This session will provide a perspective on how SA treatment spending shapes providers and affects clients.

Learning Objectives:
1. Analyze trends in the treatment of patients with substance abuse conditions in general hospital psychiatric units versus general medical units. 2. Assess the use of detoxification and rehabilitation within general hospitals and their relationship to follow-up after discharge.

Keywords: Substance Abuse Treatment, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Education and training as a neuropharmacologist, and member of the team that researches and authors the SAMHSA Spending Estimates for mental health and substance abuse treatment spending in the US
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.