Wednesday, March 01, 2006

unused MTP capacity

HELP MAY BE AVAILABLE BUT . . . there appears to be a fair amount of unused capacity in MMT in Manhattan and Bronx - maybe elsewhere. And one can imagine lots of reasons why this is so. The immediate question is: what are programs doing about it? Anyone see any ads in Daily News (or WSJ)? Anyone see any public service announcements by NYC govt, by State (OASAS, DofH), by our fedeal govt servants in CSAT, VA or whatever? There seem to be fair number of ads for knee replacement surgery, for diabetes care, for smoking cessation programs, etc etc - but opiate addoiciton? And for methadone treatment in particular?

I just this morning called nyc 311 helpline - I asked the very pleasant man who answered how I could find a MTP in upper Manhattan. He checked and after a minute or so told me that I'd have to ask the OASAS referral line - and then offered to transfer me. So far, pretty good (though it would be nice to have the City help-line have the info). But after he transferred me the line rang a dozen or so times and I was disconnected. It's easier to buy a bag of dope. rgn


At 11:47 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

In the Bronx, we have sent public service announcements to every radio station, printed outreach cards and left them at HRA centers, police precincts, child welfare and the courts. We've made presentations at city agencies, planning boards, borough president's service councils and sent letters to every patient asking them to refer someone they know to treatment.

COMPA Board has convened a workgroup about capacity and utilization, chaired by Beth Israel Administrator, Patti Juliana, to look at ways to attract people into treatment - staffing outreach workers at probation offices (once we've trained probation folks to be more supportive of OTP - the Corrections Commissioner, Marty Horn is very supportive of this), subway ads, other marketting devices, more user friendliness, better regulations, etc. This is moving along nicely and the group has had some good ideas.

Finally, we've looked at all the reasons why this has occurred including stigma, side effect rumors, and even gentrification in the Bronx and Manhattan to better understand why this has happened.

Ira J. Marion

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I just spoke with my outreach folks. 311 is mainly a "complaint" line to fix potholes, horns stuck, and the like. NYC is starting a "social services" hotline - 211 - that would be for referrals for those needing care. Every program with slots should tell NYC 211 of their openings.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger RGNewman, MD said...

Ira - sounds like you folks in Da Bronks have been doing very extensive work in seeking to attract more patients. My congratulations. Are you keeping track of what the "yield" is from the various efforts? Excess capacity seems to be far from an academic issue for a fair number of programs. Has OASAS been of help in addressing the issue of under-utilization? again, my hat's off to you! OTHERS HAVE EXPERIENCES TO SHARE RE SEEKING MORE PATIENTS WHO WANT/NEED MTP SERVICES? rgn

At 6:16 PM, Blogger RGNewman, MD said...

311-211 - not sure the info is correct. For sure, when I called 311 with my query I was not blown away by referral to another city number. Anyway - whatever numbers there are, Ira is correct is saying every clinic/program with excess capacity should notify every possible number in state/city govt folks might be contacting. rgn


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