Few Black Overdose Patients with Private Insurance Receive Follow-up Care

    Few people with private insurance who are treated in the emergency room for an opioid overdose receive follow-up addiction treatment, a new study finds. The problem is especially severe for black patients, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

    Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania studied records from a large private health insurance company. Among 6,500 patients treated for an opioid overdose between 2011 and 2016, less than 17% received follow-up treatment. Among those who did receive follow-up treatment, less than half received medication-assisted treatment, considered the gold standard of care.

    Black patients were half as likely as white patients to receive follow-up treatment.

    “The [emergency room] encounter has been seen as a critical opportunity to engage a patient and connect them to the right care that gives them the best chance for recovery,” researcher Austin Kilaru, M.D. said in a news release. “However, even with commercially insured patients, who likely have superior ability to access care, we see these low treatment rates, particularly for minorities.”

    By Partnership Staff
    May 2020

    Published

    May 2020

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