Fifteen years ago, Karen Perry lost her son Richie to overdose. Only after Richie’s death did Karen learn that he had previously survived an overdose, having been released from the emergency department (ED) with the callous discharge note “stop abusing drugs.” An effective ED warm handoff could have saved Richie’s life.
Richie’s story is heartbreaking but not unique. Sixty-two percent of overdose decedents had a prior overdose. ED warm handoffs are now poised to take off nationwide, spurred by state law and policy, and in some cases, supported by short-term federal funding. This session will help equip participants to overcome policy-related and practical barriers to implementation of warm handoff programs.
Participants will hear from Karen Perry, who founded and serves as executive director of the NOPE Task Force. She will discuss her organization’s successful efforts to garner support from Florida’s attorney general, lawmakers, and governor for a legislative mandate. Next, a health care attorney will address concerns related to patients’ rights to privacy, legal liability, and the prescribing of opioid use disorder treatment medication. Then, an ED physician will discuss how he overcame pushback from essential supporters in founding the Upstate Opioid Bridge Clinic. He also will describe his community’s warm handoff program, including participating stakeholders, the challenges of data collection, and plans for long-term sustainability. The presenters will review data from pilot programs supporting what common sense dictates: that properly resourced warm handoff initiatives can save lives and reduce costs.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB,* GA Bar.
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.