70th AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo
Organizations considering offering care for patients with substance use disorders should do so only after very careful examination of the implications. As a nation experiencing a crisis of 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 a desire to participate in improving community health rather than simply a census-improvement opportunity. Caring for patients with substance use disorders who require SNF services is extraordinarily complex. Modern medicine is still learning how substances affect the brain, why some people experience addiction, and what the best treatments are. Our industry must proceed thoughtfully and innovatively through this new territory. These patients come to us with complicated needs (such as significant wounds or many infections). The substance use disorder itself involves a slew of care needs, including medication-assisted treatments and psychosocial concerns such as marginal self-care practices; poor coping mechanisms; fractured and dysfunctional relationships; impaired problem-solving; and barriers for safe discharge for sustainable recovery. Finally, working with dual diagnoses and various co-morbidities increases the complexity of care.