DCBA’s Managing Partner Presents on Warm Handoffs at Rx Summit

Today, DCBA’s Managing Partner, Michael C. Barnes, presented and moderated a session at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta. The session, entitled “Warm Handoffs: Overcoming Barriers to Implementation,” examined the need for emergency department warm handoff programs. Under these programs, patients who experience a nonfatal overdose are screened for problematic substance use and receive treatment if appropriate. Barnes spoke alongside Karen Perry, Founder and Executive Director of NOPE Task Force, and Dr. Ross Sullivan, Director of Emergency Opioid Bridge Clinic and Medical Toxicology, Emergency Medicine at Upstate University Hospital. Ms. Perry discussed the story of her son and the resulting warm handoff law passed in Florida in 2017. Dr. Sullivan highlighted the efforts of the Upstate Opioid Bridge Clinic to respond to opioid overdose and ensure patients receive treatment. Topics also included barriers to treatment, patient privacy considerations under HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2, initiating treatment with buprenorphine in the emergency department, mobile medical services, and relevant provisions of the SUPPORT for Patient and Communities Act. The speakers concluded by offering recommendations for warm handoff programming and advocacy.