Dr. Joshua Lynch, Founder and Medical Director of the MATTERS Network, presented at the NYS Senate’s Public Hearing to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the overdose crisis on October 20, 2021. This hearing was hosted in association with the Senate Joint Task Force on Opioids, Addiction and Overdose in Albany, NY.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already-present challenges that patients and providers face when addressing opioid use disorder (OUD). Dr. Lynch and partners created the MATTERS program because of the inadequacies of our health system in treating patients with OUD. After being treatment in an emergency department, most patients were discharged with a list of numbers to call for an outpatient appointment at an already-overwhelmed clinic; many times, numbers on these phones were outdated and patients on their own for care. When the pandemic hit, seeking medical care became more difficult, people were isolated indoors and local businesses closed.
The MATTERS platform serves as a key asset and resource in addressing OUD in New York State and sets the standard for post-COVID best practices. Through the MATTERS electronic referral system, patients experiencing OUD can be evaluated by an emergency medicine provider, receive an outpatient prescription for their medication, if indicated, and have a follow-up appointment scheduled at the outpatient clinic of their choosing (oftentimes close to their home and within 72 hours) – all without leaving their home!
Dr. Lynch speaks of how integral the MATTERS Network will be in addressing OUD in our State and Country, as it offers a streamlined, standardized protocol that supports patients and providers alike.
The team is excited to hear what comes of Warm Hand-off Bill S-4359 – follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or subscribe to our newsletter for policy updates and more!