Hospital Addiction Medicine Consultation Service Orders and Outcomes by Patient Race and Ethnicity in an Urban, Safety-Net Hospital

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Background: Hospital admissions involving substance use disorders are increasing and represent an opportunity to engage patients in substance use treatment. Addiction medicine consultation services improve access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and patient outcomes. However, as hospitals continue to adopt addiction medicine consultation services it is important to identify where disparities may emerge in the process of care. Objective: To describe addiction medicine consultation service use by race and ethnicity as well as substance to identify opportunities to reduce substance use treatment disparities. Design: Retrospective cohort study using 2016–2021 Electronic Health Record data from a large Midwest safety-net hospital. Participants: Hospitalized adults aged 18 or older, with one or more substance use disorders. Main Measures: Consultation orders placed, patient seen by consult provider, and receipt of MOUD by self-reported race. Key Results: Between 2016 and 2021, we identified 16,895 hospitalized patients with a substance use disorder. Consultation orders were placed for 6344 patients and 2789 were seen by the consult provider. Black patients were less likely (aOR = 0.58; 95% CI: 0.53–0.63) to have an addiction medicine consultation order placed and, among patients with a consultation order, were less likely (aOR = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.65–0.85) to be seen by the consult provider than White patients. Overall, Black patients with OUD were also less likely to receive MOUD in the hospital (aOR = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.50–0.79) compared to White patients. However, there were no differences in MOUD receipt among Black and White patients seen by the consult provider. Conclusions: Using Electronic Health Record data, we identified racial and ethnic disparities at multiple points in the inpatient addiction medicine consultation process. Addressing these disparities may support more equitable access to MOUD and other substance use treatment in the hospital setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Society of General Internal Medicine.


  • addiction consult
  • hospital medicine
  • hospital-based opioid treatment
  • opioid use disorder
  • substance use disorder

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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