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The cost of concordance with opiate substitution treatment guidelines.

Barnett PG, Trafton JA, Humphreys K. The cost of concordance with opiate substitution treatment guidelines. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2010 Sep 1; 39(2):141-9.

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The Multisite Opiate Substitution Treatment study compared four opioid substitution programs that were highly concordant with clinical practice guidelines to four programs that were less concordant. Program staff were surveyed, and consenting new patients from highly concordant (n = 164) and less-concordant programs (n = 91) were assessed. After 12 months, treatment of new clients of highly staffed, guideline concordant sites cost $10,252, which is significantly more than the $6,476 cost at less-concordant programs (p < .01). Clients at highly concordant sites received significantly more group visits (M = 37.0 vs. 13.1, p < .01) but fewer dosing visits. There were no significant differences in medical care costs. Opioid substitution therapy was effective at reducing heroin use, especially at sites that were highly concordant with treatment guidelines. Annual mortality was 3.0% and did not differ by type of care. Preference-based quality of life significantly improved only at highly concordant sites.

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