People seeking addiction treatment often face barriers to obtaining the help they need, including a simple lack of knowledge about where to go and what treatment options are available. Many find themselves at emergency rooms, and while sometimes this is necessary, it is always better to seek help from addiction specialists unless it’s an emergency.
Emergency departments can treat withdrawal symptoms and drug overdoses, but they’re not equipped to deliver long-term addiction care, and they’re often so overwhelmed with trauma patients that individuals with non-emergencies may need to wait for many hours. To address this issue and help ease the workload for ED staff, Spectrum Health Systems partnered with Milford Regional Medical Center (MRMC), to provide rapid access to medication-assisted treatment for MRMC patients struggling with substance use disorders through Spectrum’s bridge clinic in Milford.
Divide and Conquer: Bridge Clinics
Medical centers and treatment providers have struggled to bridge the gap between emergency care and primary care for people struggling with addiction. How can emergency departments give each person the attention they need when so many are already operating at 90 percent capacity? How can addiction centers reach the people who need their help, when they need it?
Bridge clinics play an important role in expanding access to treatment. Once patients share their symptoms with MRMC’s ED staff, they are referred to Spectrum’s addiction treatment center just two miles down the road where they can begin their treatment journey that same day, without even needing to make an appointment. At our bridge clinic, clients receive care tailored to their needs by professionals trained to provide specialized addiction treatment. Meanwhile, emergency departments are freed up to work on other types of emergencies.
Milford Partnership: Rapid Access
In 2019, we announced our partnership with the Milford Regional Medical Center, a collaborative effort to reduce overcrowding in MRMC’s emergency department by redirecting patients seeking addiction treatment to our bridge clinic at 200 East Main Street in Milford.
People may not initially seek help at a local treatment center because they don’t know what services are available, if insurance will cover it, or how long they will be away from home and work. When people go to an emergency department, they know that someone will see them and treat them no matter what. If they’re in the middle of withdrawal symptoms, getting help as fast as possible is their priority.
Treatment centers like Spectrum’s bridge clinic offer rapid access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), meaning new clients don’t need an appointment or a referral. Clients will immediately receive a medical and clinical assessment, a medication evaluation, and buprenorphine prescription pending eligibility. After this initial appointment and assessment, clients have access to:
- Ongoing medical monitoring
- Individualized treatment planning
- Individual and group counseling
- Recovery support navigator services
- Case management and continuing care planning
At Spectrum, we care about the long-term health and well-being of all our clients and we work with each individual to help provide them with whatever tools they need to be successful in their recovery.
Thanks to our partnership with the Milford Regional Medical Center, rapid access to MAT is available to all MRMC patients, including patients from the Milford Regional Physician Group practices, Tri-River Medical Associates, and MRMC-MRPG Urgent Care Centers, as well as any individual seeking treatment within the community.
For more information on rapid access to medication-assisted treatment, call 877-MyRehab (877-697-3422) and select option #2.