4 years ago

Fair hearing outcomes of patients recommended discharge from methadone maintenance

A system known as fair hearings is a due process opportunity for patients who are involuntarily discharged from methadone maintenance treatment to challenge the discharge recommendation. We know very little about the processes and outcomes of fair hearings. For this study, we used a mixed methods approach to retrospectively analyze 73 fair hearing reports that were documented from a California methadone maintenance treatment program between 2000 and 2014. The aims of the study were to identify the reasons for involuntary discharge recommendation from methadone maintenance, describe the factors involved when fair hearing outcomes decided in favor of the clinic, and describe the factors involved when fair hearing outcomes decided in favor of the patient. We found that patient attendance at the fair hearing meeting was significantly related to the outcome ruling in favor of the patient. We organized the reasons for discharge recommendations into five categories: 1) suspected diversion, 2) behavioral/interpersonal, 3) repeated, unexcused absences, 4) co-occurring substance use, and 5) multiple sources of opioids. For each category, we use excerpts from fair hearing reports to provide context to the circumstances involved in an outcome favoring the patient or the clinic.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S074054721730096X

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