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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

NYU: Why Are Some U.S. Nonprofit Hospitals Not Addressing Opioid Misuse in Their Communities?

A study authored by Dr. José Pagán, chair and professor of the Department of Public Health Policy and Management at New York University College of Global Public Health, was published by Population Health Management titled “Why Are Some U.S. Nonprofit Hospitals Not Addressing Opioid Misuse in Their Communities?

The U.S. opioid epidemic is national in scope, but many local solutions have been shown to have efficacy. Many nonprofit hospitals have the resources and infrastructure to lead these community-based efforts, but there is evidence that some organizations are not adopting opioid services as part of their community benefit requirements to assess and address critical community health needs. This paper assesses why hospitals do not address opioid abuse after completing a community health needs assessment.

Results indicate that opioid abuse was not addressed by 32 percent (143) of hospitals in their formal implementation strategies. State community benefit laws, county overdose level, county poverty rate, hospital region, and hospital system membership all were significantly related to the reasons hospitals cited for not addressing opioid abuse as part of their community health engagement. Hospitals in communities with significant substance abuse needs and few institutional resources may need support to address opioid misuse and adopt treatment and harm reduction initiatives. Policies that support hospital–public health partnerships may be especially important to assist hospitals to address non medical or behavioral health needs in their communities.

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