Describe clinical and demographic associations with inpatient medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) initiation on general medicine services and to examine associations between inpatient MOUD initiation by generalists and subsequent patient healthcare utilization.
This is a retrospective study using medical record data from general medicine services at an urban safety-net hospital before an inpatient addiction consultation service. The patients were adults hospitalized for acute medical illness who had an opioid-related ICD-10 code associated with the visit. Associations with MOUD initiation were assessed using multivariable logistic regression. Hospital readmission, emergency department use, linkage to opioid treatment programs (OTP), and mortality at 30- and 90-days postdischarge were compared between those with and without hospital MOUD initiation using χ2 tests.
Of 1,284 hospitalized patients with an opioid-related code, 59.81% received MOUD and 31.38% of these were newly initiated in-hospital. In multivariable logistic regression, Black race, mood disorder, psychotic disorder, and alcohol use disorder were negatively associated with MOUD initiation, while being aged 25–34, having a moderate hospital severity of illness score, and experiencing homelessness were positively associated. There were no bivariate associations between MOUD initiation and postdischarge emergency department use, hospital readmission, or mortality at 30- and 90-days, but those initiated on MOUD were more likely to present to an OTP within 90 days (30.57% vs 12.80%, P < 0.001).
MOUD prescribing by inpatient generalists may help to increase the number of patients on treatment for opioid use disorder after hospital discharge. More research is needed to understand the impact of inpatient MOUD treatment without addiction specialty consultation.