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Murphy Administration Seeks Fewer Opioids in Emergency Rooms

Gov. Phil Murphy holds a Covid press conference on June 9

By Press Release

TRENTON – As part of its continued commitment to fight the opioid epidemic, the Murphy administration April 16 announced the expansion of the Opioid Reduction Option Program (ORO), which aims to reduce the amount of opioids provides to patients in emergency rooms and prescribed when they’re discharged.
According to a release, the Department of Human Services announced $1,125,000 in grants will be available to approximately 12 health care facilities to help develop and implement practices to reduce unnecessary opioid use. DHS awarded 11 hospitals a total of $1.79 million in April 2019.
“The Murphy administration is committed to saving lives and taking every step we can to combat addiction,” Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman stated. “Finding ways to reduce unnecessary opioid use will save lives, which will mean a better future for individuals and families across New Jersey. Promoting alternatives to opioids while effectively addressing pain can benefit everyone.”
“Health care systems are critical partners in ending the overdose epidemic. They not only have the power to reduce the prescribing of opioids at their facilities, they also have the ability to link individuals struggling with addiction to treatment and support at a catalytic moment in their lives,” stated New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Through the support of CDC Overdose to Action funding, we are excited to work with the New Jersey Hospital Association and their partner, St. Joseph’s Health, to continue the work of ORO.”
National studies show 17% of emergency room patients are discharged with a prescription for highly addictive opiates, and prescription medicines are responsible for the majority of new opioid addictions.
The goal of the ORO is to reduce the patients discharged from New Jersey emergency rooms with opioid prescriptions over the course of one year. ORO focuses on using evidence-based practices to reduce the prescribing of opioids and implement clinical protocols that call for alternative prescriptions, therapies, or procedures in an emergency department to effectively address acute and/or chronic pain.
Applicants have the opportunity to participate in one of two tiers in the program. The goal for hospitals participating in Gold Tier is to reduce opioid prescriptions by 10% or develop, implement, and annually update a program that uses evidence-based protocol; develop partnerships with community organizations to connect individuals to peer support and treatment; and develop protocols to implement medication-assisted treatment to individuals who have an opioid use disorder.  
The goal for the hospitals participating in the Silver Tier is to reduce opioid prescriptions by 5% or develop, implement and annually update a program that uses evidence-based protocols, develops partnerships with community organizations to connect individuals to peer support and treatment.
The program is funded through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Opioid Response grant program to address the opioid epidemic.
Proposals are to be submitted to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services by 4 p.m. April 30. 
Click here to see the Request for Proposal.

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