Addiction Treatment Reveals Racial Gaps in the U.S.

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says co-author Julie Donohue, Ph.D., chair, and professor of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management.

‘People with opioid use disorder are receiving evidence-based treatment for the disease in the U.S., but considerable gaps in care along racial lines still exist. This provides insights for policymakers and medical providers to improve access to quality care for these populations.


Effective Treatment is the Key

Opioid use disorder can be treated effectively with unimpeded access to medical benefits. The study demonstrates that state Medicaid expansion provided access to care for a population that needed to be engaged in the health care system.

The Black enrollees were considerably less likely than White enrollees to be treated with medications for their opioid use disorder and were less likely to have continuity of such treatment. The result was even worse for pregnant women with opioid use disorder who were far more likely to receive continuous medication-assisted treatment, possibly because of their active engagement in pregnancy care.

The diverse results among the various populations were shared by the team to each state’s Medicaid managers.

“State Medicaid officials were very engaged in determining measures on which they were performing particularly well, as well as areas where they could improve. And not only could they see where improvement was possible, but they also could talk with other state officials and learn about successful programs and practices. Improved understanding of factors driving increased use of medications for opioid use disorder is crucial to closing remaining treatment gaps,” says, Donohue.

Source: Medindia



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