Voting with their feet: Social factors linked with treatment for opioid use disorder using same-day buprenorphine delivered in California hospitals

Mariah M. Kalmin, David Goodman-Meza, Erik Anderson, Ariana Abid, Melissa Speener, Hannah Snyder, Arianna Campbell, Aimee Moulin, Steve Shoptaw, Andrew A. Herring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) using buprenorphine in primary or specialty care settings is accessed primarily by persons with private health insurance, stable housing, and no polysubstance use. This paper applies Social Cognitive Theory to frame links between social factors and treatment outcomes among patients with social and economic disadvantages who are seeking MOUD at California Bridge Program (CA Bridge) hospitals. Methods: Electronic medical records for patients identified with OUD between January-April, 2020 receiving care at CA Bridge hospitals defined outcomes: hospital-administered buprenorphine; provision of buprenorphine prescription at discharge. Multi-level models assessed whether social factors—housing status, insurance type, and co-methamphetamine use—predicted outcomes while accounting for group-level effects of treating hospital and controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and gender. Results: 15 CA Bridge hospitals yielded 845 patient records. Most patients received hospital-administered buprenorphine (58 %) and/or a buprenorphine prescription (55 %); 26 % received neither treatment. Patients with unstable housing had greater odds of hospital-administered buprenorphine compared to patients with stable housing. Patients with Medicaid had greater odds of receiving a buprenorphine prescription compared to patients with other insurance. Co-methamphetamine use was not associated with outcomes. Conclusions: Patients with OUD are successful in accessing same-day MOUD in CA Bridge hospital settings over a significant period. Importantly, access to MOUD in these settings was facilitated for patients traditionally not treated using buprenorphine, i.e., those with housing instability, Medicaid insurance, and co-methamphetamine use. Findings suggest barriers to MOUD for patients with social and economic disadvantages can be lowered by changing treatment delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108673
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Buprenorphine-administration and dosage
  • Emergency services
  • Opiate substitution treatment
  • Opioid-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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