A Weill Department of Medicine researcher is leading a deep dive into Medicaid program data nationwide to assess the performance of hospitals who successfully connect Medicaid patients suffering from serious injection-related infections to potentially life-saving substance use disorder treatment versus those that may not.
Dr. Shashi N. Kapadia, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, was recently awarded a four-year, 2.9 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health to conduct a study entitled “Delivery of Addiction Treatment for Medicaid Enrollees with Serious Injection-Related Infections.”
“People who inject drugs are at risk for severe infections, such as bacterial endocarditis (infection of the heart valve) and sepsis that can be potentially fatal,” Dr. Kapadia says. “Outcomes are not so great for this population. We want to figure out which hospitals do better with helping patients specifically address their substance use disorder, such as assisting them with getting medication treatment.”
Dr. Kapadia and his team hypothesize that hospitals who do connect patients to important resources, including potential medical treatment, such as the administration of methadone to treat opioid use disorder, outpatient behavioral health programs, or similar initiatives, will experience a lower incidence of patient readmission.
Dr. Kapadia and his team will also look at the rate of post-discharge follow up care. “We want to track the reasons why patients may end up back in the hospital with similar issues or get better. If they stop treatment, we want to look at why.”
National Medicaid data will allow the team to study a large number of hospitals across the United States. As a follow up, they will conduct qualitative research with a smaller group of hospitals in both urban and rural areas to understand the myriad reasons they might or might not provide these treatments. Considerations may include high patient volume, the efficacy of safety and quality programs, and more. “There are lots of factors to take into consideration,” Dr. Kapadia says. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to use this study to start establishing meaningful trends.”
Before joining the Weill Department of Medicine faculty in 2017, Dr. Kapadia completed a fellowship in infectious diseases and a residency in preventive medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Population Health Sciences. He is affiliated with the Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorders, HCV and HIV (CHERISH), and the Cornell Center for Health Equity.