Urgent care centers devoted to pediatrics and women’s health are growing in number and appeal around the country. Now an urgent care operator in Boston is trying another niche service using the urgent care model: care for patients addicted to opioids. Working in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (which provided a $2.9 million grant) and the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Medical Center Opioid Urgent Care Center promises to do an intake triage, perform a comprehensive assessment, provide opioid overdose education and naloxone rescue kits, and refer patients to addiction treatment and primary care, with by licensed alcohol and drug counselors. The program, called Faster Paths to Treatment, also offers transportation and information on community-based support services. In addition, Faster Paths has its own dedicated medication treatment outpatient program, staffed by an addiction nurse, a physician, and a Master’s level addiction counselor who provides appropriate patients with buprenorphine/suboxone induction and stabilization as well as vivitrol treatment.
A Novel Type of ‘Specialty’ Urgent Care Centers Puts Out the Welcome Mat for Addicts