Chapter 9

Outpatient Medication-Assisted Opioid Therapy Discharges: 2007

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 59,190 linked admission/discharge records of discharges from outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy (i.e., therapy with methadone or buprenorphine) in 2007. Thirty-eight of the 46 reporting States had discharges from this type of service [Table 9.1]. Discharges from outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy included 95 percent from outpatient treatment outpatient treatment and 5 percent from intensive outpatient treatment (see Chapter 2).

Reason for Discharge

Table 9.1 and Figure 9.1. Of the 59,190 outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges in 2007:1

Figure 9.1
Reason for discharge from outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy: TEDS 2007

Pie chart comparing Reason for discharge from outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy in TEDS 2007


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

Median Length of Stay (LOS)

Table 2.4 and Figure 9.2. The median LOS for outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges was 155 days. By reason for discharge, the median LOS for outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges was:

Figure 9.2
Median length of stay in outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy, by reason for discharge: TEDS 2007

Bar chart comparing Median length of stay in outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy, by reason for discharge in TEDS 2007

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:

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 2007 to admission records from 2000 to 2007 means that the maximum length of stay (LOS) in treatment included in this report is 8 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 8 years may differ from those of admissions who remain in medication-assisted opioid therapy for longer than 8 years.

Completion/Transfer Rates and Characteristics at Admissions

The overall combined treatment completion/transfer rate among outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy discharges was 32 percent.

Median LOS among Discharges Completing Treatment

The overall median LOS among discharges completing outpatient medication-assisted opioid therapy was 184 days. For most characteristics at admission, the median LOS was within 20 days of that number, between 164 days and 204 days.

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