Geisinger’s addiction medicine program reports reduction in opioid-related deaths

DANVILLE — Since opening its first outpatient addiction treatment clinic in 2017, Geisinger has observed an 81 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths compared to national benchmarks.

Patients in Geisinger’s outpatient addiction medicine specialty program have also reported significant improvements in key areas of wellbeing, including employment and overall health.

The findings are published in the March-April issue of the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery. Authors of the case study are Jordan Barbour, Geisinger’s director of clinical operations for psychiatry and addiction medicine, and Margaret Jarvis, M.D., chair of addiction medicine for Geisinger.

Over the past three years, Geisinger has developed an outpatient addiction medicine specialty program staffed by board-certified addiction medicine physicians, advanced practitioners, nurses and care managers. Since 2017, Geisinger has cared for more than 3,000 patients at its four addiction medicine clinics, located in Bloomsburg, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport. All four locations have been designated as Centers of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorder by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

Geisinger has also developed key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of its outpatient addiction medicine program. These include the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), which measures improvement in specific areas of wellbeing, including employment, relationships with family, drug and alcohol use and overall health. The ASI survey is completed by patients at intake, after six months and after 12 months of treatment, and patients in Geisinger’s program have reported significant improvements in all measured areas.

“We believe the specialized clinical team and multidisciplinary, patient-centered approach to treatment has resulted in these extraordinary treatment outcomes,” Barbour said. “We plan to study and better understand these trends in the years to come.”

“At Geisinger, we are committed to providing only the highest quality addiction treatment,” said Dr. Jarvis. “This means making specialized, data-driven care available to the communities we serve.”

For more information or to reach any of Geisinger’s outpatient addiction medicine treatment clinics, visit geisinger.org/addiction-treatment.


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