Chapter 9

Outpatient Medication-Assisted Opioid Therapy Discharges: 2006

Reason for Discharge

Median Length of Stay (LOS)

Characteristics at Admission

Treatment Completion

Chapter 9 presents data on the reason for discharge and median length of stay (LOS) in treatment for the 58,551 linked admission/discharge records of discharges from outpatient medication- assisted (i.e., with methadone or buprenorphine) opioid therapy in 2006. Thirty-two of the 42 reporting States had discharges from this type of service [Table 9.1]. Outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy includes outpatient treatment and intensive outpatient treatment (see Chapter 2).

Reason for Discharge

Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1. Of the 58,551 outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges in 2006:1

Figure 9.1
Reason for discharge from outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy: TEDS 2006

Pie chart comparing Reason for discharge from outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy in TEDS 2006

Median Length of Stay (LOS)

Table 2.4 and Figure 9.2. The median LOS for outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges was 156 days. By reason for discharge, the median LOS for outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges was:

Characteristics at Admission

Table 2.6. Outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges displayed some major differences from all discharges combined. Of outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges:

Figure 9.2
Median length of stay in outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy, by reason for discharge: TEDS 2006

Bar chart comparing Median length of stay in outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy, by reason for discharge in TEDS 2006

Treatment Completion

Tables 9.2 and 9.3. Table 9.2 enumerates the characteristics at admission of discharges from outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy by reason for discharge. Table 9.3 is based on Table 9.2. It presents two related proportions: a) the percent distribution of characteristics at admission among discharges completing treatment or transferring to further treatment compared to those who did not complete treatment, and b) the combined rate of completion or transfer to further treatment by characteristic at admission.

Linkage of discharge records from 2006 to admission records from 2000 to 2006 means that the maximum length of stay (LOS) in treatment included in this report is 7 years. However, medication-assisted opioid therapy can have a much longer duration. Indeed, some admissions may receive this form of treatment for an indefinite period. Because this report includes data only on discharges, it will underestimate LOS in treatment for those receiving medication-assisted opioid therapy. Similarly, the number and proportion of treatment completers will reflect only those who have been discharged because treatment is complete and not those who successfully remain in long-term medication-assisted opioid therapy. In addition, the characteristics at admission of those admitted to and discharged from medication-assisted opioid therapy within 7 years may differ from those of admissions who remain in medication-assisted opioid therapy for longer than 7 years.

Completion/Transfer Rates and Characteristics at Admissions

The overall combined treatment completion/transfer rate among outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges was 30 percent.

Median LOS among Discharges Completing Treatment

The overall median LOS among discharges completing outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy was 183 days. For most characteristics at admission, the median LOS fell within 21 days of that number, between 162 days and 204 days.


1Percentages do not sum to 100 percent because of rounding.

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