Emeryville, CA (March 5, 2019) – Vituity, a multispecialty physician owned and led partnership, is proud to have five hospital sites selected for participation in the California Bridge Program, an accelerated training program for healthcare providers that will enhance access to around-the-clock substance use disorder treatment in California communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.
These sites join 25 additional health facilities from across the state selected to participate in the California Bridge Program by the Public Health Institute’s Bridge program. Program sites will collectively receive more than $8 million, along with training and technical assistance, to improve and increase access to treatment and referral of acute symptoms of substance use disorders hospital-wide. The Bridge program is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).
“Vituity is proud to have five sites selected for this innovative program. Our state’s Emergency Departments are seeing a significant number of patients with opioid use disorders and are eager to start offering evidence-based treatment options. This program is a big leap forward in the delivery of quality compassionate care”, say Vituity’s Director of Medication Assisted Treatment, Dylan Carney MD, MPH.
The Bridge model treats Emergency Department (EDs) and Acute Care Hospitals as a critical opportunity for initiating treatment. When patients in opioid withdrawal present seeking medical care to participating EDs, including for reasons not related to opioid use, they will be offered a dose of medication such as buprenorphine to ease severe symptoms of withdrawal, and then they will be connected with outpatient treatment in the community. Studies show that patients given this option of medication designed for addiction treatment are more likely to remain in care than those who are given referral information alone.
“By suppressing withdrawal long enough to create a bridge for patients to enter and remain in treatment, physicians can save lives,” said Andrew Herring, MD, Director of Emergency Department Services for the Bridge Program. “We know this model works, and now we are bringing it to hospitals and emergency rooms all across the state that are anxious for real solutions to address the enormous pain and suffering they see every day caused by the opioid epidemic.”
The 18-month California Bridge training program approaches substance use disorder as a treatable chronic illness—creating an environment that welcomes disclosure of opioid use, provides rapid evidence-based treatment, and enables patients to enter and remain in treatment.
As a physician-led and -owned, multispecialty partnership, Vituity has proactively driven positive change in the business and practice of healthcare for nearly 50 years. Our more than 3,000 doctors and clinicians provide a wide range of integrated acute care expertise. Serving over 6.3 million patients annually at 250 practice locations, our footprint continues to rapidly expand across the country as we partner with and support hospitals, health systems, clinics, payers, and employers. Vituity’s acute focus and compassionate care are the driving forces that have placed us at the heart of better care.
Our services span the entire acute care continuum including: emergency medicine, acute psychiatry, acute neurology, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, acute care surgery, telehealth, post-acute care, and outpatient medicine.
About California Bridge Program
Bridge, a program of the Public Health Institute, is establishing a culture of evidence-based medicine to treat substance use disorders through an accelerated training program for healthcare providers that supports, enhances, and increases access to 24/7 treatment in every community.