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Caring for Residents with SUD in Long-Term Care


  • Long-term care facilities (LTCFs) have concerns about admitting residents with substance use disorders (SUDs).
  • Abt is supporting LTCFs so they can better care for residents with SUDs.
  • Evaluations will be ongoing in order to continuously improve program materials.
The Challenge

Since 2016, Massachusetts has required long-term care facilities (LTCFs) to admit individuals requiring care who are also being treated with medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Failure to do so violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. While some progress has been made, many facilities still hesitate to admit residents with OUD. The purpose of this program is to provide training and technical support (TS) to staff caring for residents with OUD and other substance use disorders (SUDs) and improve the continuity of care.

The Approach

Starting with the first MOUD contract (2019 to 2021), Abt and our partner, Healthcentric Advisors, held several training events, provided individualized TS to select LTCFs, and developed the MOUD in LTC Toolkit, to help LTCFs address issues related to the care of residents receiving MOUD. The second MOUD contract (2021 to 2022) added training for the care of residents with stimulant use disorder (StUD). In this contract, Abt updated program materials to incorporate this change, and developed an online, self-paced training for LTCF staff, conducted peer-to-peer webinars, convened the first in-person state-wide MOUD in LTC conference, and continued to provide individualized TS.  

Now in its third iteration, the SUD in LTC contract will incorporate issues relevant to other SUD, like alcohol use disorder (AUD) and the use of multiple substances. The Abt team will be updating all project materials to reflect the expanded scope, like the MOUD in LTC Toolkit, and will continue to provide individualized TS to LTCFs throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, Abt will develop several new training events, including new self-paced training modules, quarterly webinars, and an annual, in-person conference.

The Results

Prior iterations of the contract demonstrated great strides in improving the comfort and knowledge LTCF staff need to care for residents requiring MOUD. In this third iteration of the work, the team will build on that success and further advance the capabilities of LTCF staff to care for residents with SUDs.