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Michigan Opioid Partnership Plans

Munson Medical Center plans to use the Michigan Opioid Partnership funds to develop a program that will help patients presenting in the Emergency Department with opioid use disorder to have immediate access to a treatment and maintenance program.

Who Are the Community Partners?

Our Emergency Department opioid program will involve several community partners, including Addiction Treatment Services, Munson Family Practice, Traverse Health Clinic, Northwest Michigan WORKS, Dr. Julia Riddle from Grand Traverse Women’s Clinic, Munson Behavioral Health, and WellSpring Psychiatry. 

What are the Goals?

Results from similar pilot programs show that when a patient begins medication-assisted treatment with behavioral therapy and ongoing support, it improves their chances of survival, enhances their quality of life, improves birth outcomes for pregnant patients, and results in lower medical costs.

Our overall goal with this particular initiative is to:

  • Decrease overdoses
  • Improve participation and completion of substance use disorder treatment programs
  • Reduce admissions for infections and medical complications from IV drug use
  • Strengthen collaboration across our community organizations and
  • Reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder

In addition to our new collaboration with the Michigan Opioid Partnership, we received a grant in 2018 from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration that allowed us to expand access to opioid use disorder treatment. 

To date, we have strengthened access to behavioral health treatment, recovery coaching, and care coordination on location. Examples include:

  • Offering a full range of substance use disorder therapies
  • Peer-to-peer recovery coaching at Munson Medical Center
  • And implementing care coordination and recovery coaching for pregnant women with opioid use disorder

With the help of the Michigan Opioid Partnership and like-minded providers, agencies and our community, Munson Healthcare will continue its efforts to reduce, and as we all hope, ultimately put an end to the opioid crisis affecting our region.

Community Progress to Reduce Opioid Addiction

Munson Healthcare has collaborated with several organizations throughout the region. As a result of our cumulative efforts, we have seen:

  • The number of Emergency Department patients discharged with an opioid prescription for FY 2019 was down 4 percent in the last year. The numbers of opioid overdoses per 1,000 ED visits decreased from 8 to 6 percent in the last year which represents 164 patients
  • And, our babies born with an addiction, or neonatal abstinence syndrome, rate per 1,000 live births for 2019 was down 2 percent over the last year.
  • These percentages represent real people, members of our families and community that have been helped with our current efforts.

Opioid Prevention Efforts

As part of our prevention efforts, we installed MedSafe boxes at all Munson Healthcare hospitals. As of June 30, 2019 we have collected 1,800 pounds of medications, much of that representing opioid drugs. 

Proper Uses of Opioids

It is important to note that though we are in this epidemic, there remains a proper use for opioids in the care of certain patients. We also understand the need for pain relief for certain patients can be addressed through alternative means.

We have provided a system wide provider education program about opioids and alternative pain care. Examples of these could include:

  • Non-opioid based medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Non-drug therapies such as ice, elevation, physical therapy or splinting
  • Acupuncture, massage, mindfulness and many other alternatives to traditional medications