In new JAMA article, telemedicine for opioid use disorder such as Workit Health offers promising solution for rural counties hit hardest by the overdose crisis.
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 06, 2019
Workit Health, a telehealth addiction treatment company bringing affordable, evidence-based care to individuals, healthcare organizations, and employers, is featured in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) as a promising solution to fight the opioid crisis.
Over 70% of rural counties disproportionately affected by the overdose crisis lack an opioid use disorder (OUD) medication prescriber – Workit Health is filling this gap in care via telehealth. Rita Ruben’s JAMA article published on August 28th, “Using Telemedicine to Treat Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Areas,” highlights the issues in rural counties where health care professionals aren’t able to treat addiction, and suggests telemedicine as a solution to meet the growing demand.
The JAMA article notes Workit Health as the single company currently connecting prescribers to patients via smartphone app. Programs like Workit Health’s, offering telehealth video visits and online therapy, meet the need for both behavioral health support and medication management required for OUD care, and stand as an underutilized solution for addressing the current crisis. A recent analysis of claims data found relatively low rates of Tele-SUD (substance use disorder) treatment claims, which the authors of the study noted, “Given the severity of the opioid epidemic, low rates of tele-SUD use represent a missed opportunity.”
JAMA talked with Workit Health’s Clinical Advisor Dr. Melody Glenn, who explained the basics of Workit Health’s program: members meet with a clinician in-person, then move to online care via web and phone-apps. Drug testing, online recovery groups, messaging with an expert team, and a personalized set of addiction courses are also included in the program. All follow-up video visits with prescribing clinicians are done via the apps, as well: “It’s a lot like FaceTime,” Glenn explained.
“We’re proud to have our telemedicine work featured in JAMA,” Lisa McLaughlin, Workit Health’s Co-CEO, says. “The studies now show that opioid use disorder treatment with buprenorphine has positive outcomes regardless of visits being in-person or telehealth. We’ve also found this to be the case with our own high rate of patient success.”
“Low-barrier care means helping more people, and saving more lives, so the team is really excited to have JAMA highlight the work we’ve been doing.” Robin McIntosh, Workit Health’s Co-CEO, says. “Lisa, myself, and other Workit staff have lost loved ones to the opioid crisis. We’re connecting experts to those who don’t have rides to treatment, or can’t find childcare.”
Workit Health was founded in 2015 by Robin McIntosh and Lisa McLaughlin, two award-winning entrepreneurs and technologists in long-term addiction recovery themselves, and has since received Joint Commission accreditation for it’s telemedicine addiction therapy program. Workit Health has followed a cohort of it’s telemedicine for OUD program for over a year, with outstanding outcomes: 93% reached abstinence from opioids after the first month in the program, with 84% of them remaining abstinent from opioids after 12 months. It has partnered with the National Science Foundation on a proprietary algorithm to track wellness in recovery, and last year received B Corporation status, solidifying its mission to do social good.
About Workit Health: Workit Health is an addiction healthcare company offering online, on-demand evidence-based addiction treatment including telehealth medication for opioid use disorder. Workit Health partners with healthcare organizations to deliver an innovative digital health solution that blends the best of human-centered design, technology, and science. Through mobile and web apps, members meet with clinicians and Master’s level coaches and complete self-set recovery goals. Workit Health offers 24/7 recovery that fits into daily life, designed by experts. Learn more at workithealth.com.
About JAMA: JAMA, published continuously since 1883, is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal. JAMA is a member of the JAMA Network family of journals, which includes 11 specialty journals and JAMA Network Open.