St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has launched a pilot program offering free Uber transportation for addiction patients participating in Rosary Hall’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The program creates greater access to those seeking treatment for addiction, including opioid and alcohol, and increases a patient’s chances for success.
“We know one thing with certainty – Rosary Hall’s intensive treatment program works. However, it only works if patients are able to make every session and receive the support necessary to continue their journey toward recovery,” said Dr. Ted Parran, associate medical director of Rosary Hall. “For so many of our addiction patients, financial challenges and a means of reliable transportation present major obstacles, which often cause a patient to relapse or drop out of their recovery program.”
St. Vincent Charity’s new pilot provides individualized transportation utilizing a proprietary HIPAA-compliant, digital platform developed by Circulation that connects Uber with patients and care providers to bring patients to IOP Treatment at Rosary Hall.
“Because of their addiction, whether from alcohol or opioids, many of our patients have lost their driver’s license, their car and even their job. Bus transportation alone to IOP appointments can mean up to $25 per week in bus fare and countless hours in transport time,” said Orlando Howard, Rosary Hall’s manager of outpatient treatment services. “This program removes that hurdle and gets our patients quickly to where they need to be, when they need to be there and at no cost to them.”
On average, 62 percent of patients successfully complete the five-month IOP at St. Vincent’s Rosary Hall. Lack of access to affordable, reliable, convenient transportation is the most frequent reason cited during patient assessments for those who drop out of the program.
Since launching in mid-June, 11 patients have enrolled in the program and have scheduled 156 rides to St. Vincent Charity for patient assessments and treatment sessions. Patients participating in the program have maintained a 100 percent attendance rate for all assessment and treatment appointments. In the 30 days prior to launching the transportation program, Rosary Hall logged 76% client participation in IOP and 62% client participation in individual counseling sessions.
Providing greater access to mental health and addiction services was targeted as a top priority for St. Vincent Charity in its 2017 Community Benefit Plan. Recognizing the transportation challenges of addiction patients, particularly for those in IOP, St. Vincent Charity analyzed model programs across the country to identify a low-cost, convenient and less time-consuming mode of transportation for patients.
IOP treatment, which frequently follows a 3 to 5 day in-patient detox, requires patients to attend four weekly, three hour sessions, in addition to individual counseling sessions, during the first five weeks. After completing the IOP, patients then participate in the non-intensive program for 1.5 hours, one day per week for 8 to 12 weeks.
Rosary Hall is currently collaborating with three area sober living houses to provide transportation to their residents as part of the pilot program, including: the Julie Adams House; Lifehouse; and Back to Basics.
With the opioid epidemic already claiming 666 lives in the first six months of the year, St. Vincent Charity plans to quickly expand the program to additional sober living houses once the pilot is complete. Additional revenue sources are being sought to support an expanded program.
Founded in 1952, Rosary Hall has been at the forefront of treating alcoholism and drug dependency for more than 64 years. Its founder, Sister Ignatia Gavin CSA, worked hand-in-hand with Dr. Robert Smith, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, to establish St. Vincent Charity as the first religious institution to recognize the rights of alcoholics to receive hospital treatment in Cleveland. Rosary Hall’s innovative efforts are fueled by decades of proven experience in treating more than 60,000 men and women, and by the compassionate care that is the hallmark of St. Vincent Charity.
About St. Vincent Charity Medical Center:
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is Cleveland’s faith-based, high-quality health care provider. Our distinguished doctors and caregivers are devoted to treating every patient with clinical excellence and compassionate care. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is home to the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute and the Center for Bariatric Surgery. Owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center provides Care Beyond Medicine. For more information, visit www.stvincentcharity.com.
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