August 18, 2017

Radiant Blog: Ohio leaders recognize St. Vincent Charity as leader in fighting opioid epidemic

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and Rosary Hall have been at the forefront of treating alcoholism and drug dependency for more than 60 years, which has been attracting attention. The following article ran on the hospital's radiant blog about recent visits from government officials to learn more about treatment options.

Ohio leaders recognize St. Vincent Charity as leader in fighting opioid epidemic

St. Vincent Charity’s reputation as a leader in addiction treatment brought U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on separate visits to the hospital to learn more about effective treatment options and to push for expanded access for those seeking help.

With the opioid addiction crisis spreading throughout Ohio, Attorney General DeWine met with St. Vincent Charity leaders and addiction specialists to learn more about the hospital’s successful detoxification unit and Rosary Hall’s outpatient treatment program.  On a tour of the detox unit, the attorney general had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with patients to learn more about the individual challenges of those fighting addiction and to hear how St. Vincent Charity is assisting them with this battle.

After his tour, the attorney general recognized St. Vincent Charity’s leadership role in addiction treatment and the hospital’s ability to provide quality, effective treatment at lower costs than other providers.

“There is a real possibility as we look for future treatments, we will use what is happening here at this hospital as a model across the state. We know the amount of money spent on Medicaid will go down, but the question is how do we spend a smaller amount of money, but spend it better, because of flexibility.”

St. Vincent Charity has the highest Medicaid patient base, at 35 percent; however, our Medicaid state spending per beneficiary is below state and national levels.  The attorney general pointed to St. Vincent Charity as a model to demonstrate how to control healthcare costs, while at the same time, continue to provide the highest quality care to patients.

Senator Brown also came to St. Vincent Charity to emphasize the importance of maintaining Ohio’s Medicaid expansion to fight the state’s rising opioid epidemic.  Nearly 65 percent of St. Vincent Charity patients in treatment for opioid addiction are covered through Medicaid as a result of the expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Brown urged community leaders and residents of Northeast Ohio to voice their support for maintaining the Medicaid expansion to enable patients to continue to receive life-saving treatment at St. Vincent Charity and through Rosary Hall’s outpatient treatment program.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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