GNYHA’s Opioid Advisory Group met on June 12 to continue developing a work plan to help members address the opioid epidemic. The discussion centered on the various hospital settings that allow for opportunities to increase interactions with individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) and advocacy opportunities and relationship building that will support a broader community response to the epidemic. The group encouraged advocacy efforts that specifically eliminate certain Federal privacy laws that prohibit the sharing of SUD information without separate patient consent.

Opioid Advisory Group members include hospital leadership and emergency medicine, primary care, pharmacy, pain management, and behavioral health practitioners, which is representative of the diverse settings where individuals with SUDs present and the value of a team-based approach to treatment.

Establishing enhanced relationships with SUD treatment providers and payers was also discussed. Northwell Health representatives shared their Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) initiative, which includes several grant-funded educational and implementation tools that are available at no cost to hospitals and clinicians. GNYHA is exploring opportunities to expand evidence-based screenings and interventions, including SBIRT, and promote access to medication-assisted treatments.