70th AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo
Organizations considering offering care for patients with a substance use disorder should do so only after very careful consideration of the implications. As a nation in crisis relative to opioid and other addictions, we must be confident our industry and respective organizations respond in an appropriate and responsible manner. The decision to offer this care delivery needs to be based on desire to participate in improving community health rather than simply a census improvement opportunity.
The care of a patient with a substance use disorder who is requiring skilled nursing facility services is extraordinarily complex. Modern medicine is still learning how substances affect the brain, why some people experience addiction, and best treatments. Therefore, our industry must proceed thoughtfully as we innovatively tread new territory. These patients come to us with skilled needs that can be pretty complicated (significant wounds; many infections.) Then you add in the substance use disorder which brings a slew of care needs including medication assisted treatment and psychosocial concerns such as marginal self-care practices; poor coping mechanisms; fractured and dysfunctional relationships; impaired problem-solving; barriers for safe discharge for sustainable recovery.) And finally, the complexity of working with dual diagnoses and various co-morbidities.