April 27, 2018

Free transportation increases addiction treatment attendance at Rosary Hall

WVIZ-TV recently profiled a program at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center that offers free transportation program to Rosary Hall patients completing intensive outpatient program (IOP) for addiction.

The program provides patients in Rosary Hall’s IOP with no-cost, individualized transportation through Uber or Lyft for all assessments and treatment sessions.

The program is a partnership with Circulation, a Boston-based startup which was the first to launch a digital transportation platform that integrates health systems with Uber or Lyft's driver network for non-emergency transportation. St. Vincent Charity was the first hospital in the nation to utilize the technology for addiction treatment.

"There's a fair amount of research that shows that completing an intensive outpatient program is one of the strongest predictors of sobriety," said Dr. Ted Parran, co-director of Rosary Hall. 

In 2018, attendance rates for IOP sessions for clients utilizing the transportation program is nearly 90 percent. This compares to a 76 percent attendance in the 30 days prior to launching the transportation program.

In 2018, the program has provided:

  • 2,074 rides
  • 116 clients served
  • 17,471 total miles traveled

Since the launch of the program in August of 2017, the program has provided:

  • 3,452 rides
  • 179 clients served
  • 26,763 total miles traveled

The WVIZ-TV segment follows patients Mike and Alice who have been battling addiction and view this transportation program as a critical lifeline that so many patients desperately need. 

"Actually getting from the sober home to the bus stop can be a challenge," said Orlando Howard Rosary Hall’s manager of outpatient treatment services. "By the time people make it to Rosary Hall they are often financially devastated and have destroyed their personal relationships and support network." 

This, combined with the challenges of public transportation, including costing patients up to $25 per week in bus fare, requiring countless hours in transport time, and exposing patients to multiple relapse triggers along the way, present the single largest barrier for patients in addiction treatment.

Watch the full segment on St. Vincent Charity's IOP transportation program here.

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