AHA STAT - An American Hospital Association Blog
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest RSS

Stem the Tide: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

By Jay Bhatt, D.O.
October 23, 2017

The statistics are staggering. Every day, over 90 Americans die from an opioid overdose. Deaths from prescription opioids – drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone – have more than quadrupled since 1999.

A human crisis in terms of lives lost, ravaged families and communities, certainly. It has spurred a public health crisis, including increases in opioid misuse and related overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome due to opioid use and... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tag: opioids

Hospitals Innovate New Strategies to Fight Opioid Crisis

By Rick Pollack
August 11, 2017

More than 140 Americans die from a drug overdose every day – that’s more than from gun homicides and car crashes combined.  Most of these deaths are due to prescription painkillers, heroin and other opioids. The opioid crisis in our country is severe enough that yesterday President Donald Trump signaled his intention to declare it a national emergency.

Hospitals and health systems serve on the front lines in this crisis every day. We’re using many strategies to help: implementing... read more

Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Community Health
Tags: Community health, Community Connections, Behavioral health, opioids

Coverage Matters in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse

By Rick Pollack
March 3, 2017

As the nation debates changes to the Affordable Care Act, it’s worth noting what’s been gained with the expansion of health care coverage to more than 20 million Americans. For the first time, many who suffer from addiction and substance abuse disorders are getting treatment thanks to their coverage. In the face of the growing opioid abuse epidemic in our country, that additional coverage means many more lives can be saved. One study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: opioids

CDC Launches Opioid Prescribing Guideline Resources for Providers

By Jay Bhatt, D.O.
December 16, 2016

This week, the CDC launched a suite of new opioid prescribing guideline resources for providers, including a mobile app and video series. This is a follow-up to their CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, launched last spring, to encourage safer and more effective pain management. 

According to the CDC, “The new Opioid Guide App makes it easier to apply the recommendations in the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain into clinical practice by... read more

Topic: Quality and Patient Safety
Tags: quality care, physician issues, Behavioral health, opioids

Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week

September 22, 2016

Every day, America’s hospitals and health systems are on the front lines of combatting the epidemic of addiction to prescription opioids or heroin. This public health crisis is rapidly growing in communities across the country and can no longer be ignored. To that end, the Administration announced this week as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.  To help patients, hospitals and communities combat the opioid epidemic, the AHA has a variety of resources to help,... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: opioids

Teaming Up to End Opioid Epidemic

By Rick Pollack
June 10, 2016

The U.S. opioid epidemic has a devastating impact on patients, communities and hospitals. According to government sources, there were more than 14,000 prescription opioid overdose deaths in 2014 alone, with more than 1,000 emergency department visits every day for prescription opioid misuse. Across America, hospitals are working hard to combat the epidemic. Knowledge and improved patient/physician communication are essential tools in this fight, and in effective pain management.... read more

Tag: opioids

New Patient-Friendly Resource on Prescription Opioids Available

June 7, 2016

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued a new patient-friendly resource on prescription opioids. 

“Every day, hospitals see how misuse of and overdose from prescription opioids affects patients’ families, loved ones and communities,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “We want patients to have open, honest conversations with their care providers about the best way to manage pain. The goal is to help... read more

Topics: Quality and Patient Safety, Community Health
Tags: quality care, patient safety, physician issues, Mental health, opioids, prevention

Hospitals innovating to improve behavioral health

May 18, 2016

Hospitals across the country are addressing their communities’ behavioral health needs, often by working with local organizations to coordinate care beyond the walls of a hospital. Examples of these innovative partnerships can be found in AHA’s Community Connections case studies, among AHA award winners and through AHA’s Hospitals In Pursuit of Excellence

In Montana, for example, the Billings Clinic, Riverstone Health, St. Vincent Healthcare and South Central Mental Health Center... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: Community Connections, Coverage, Mental health, Behavioral health, opioids

Ending Opioid Abuse

By Rick Pollack
May 13, 2016

Hospitals, and the women and men who work in them, witness the toll of opioid abuse on patients and the health of their communities every day. In 2014 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 28,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses and at least half involved a prescription drug. The Senate passed AHA-supported opioid abuse legislation in March, and, this week, the House of Representatives with an overwhelming bipartisan majority enacted a... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: opioids

AHA Supports Legislation to Address Opioid Abuse Epidemic

April 26, 2016

The House Energy and Commerce Committee tomorrow will mark-up various legislation addressing the opioid abuse epidemic. As hospitals see firsthand the effects of the opioid abuse epidemic on patients, families and communities, the AHA today sent a letter to Representatives Fred Upton and Frank Pallone, the committee’s chairman and ranking member, urging approval of the:

  • Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2016
  • Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act of... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: opioids



About AHA


Member Constituency Sections

Key Relationships

News Center

Performance Improvement

Advocacy Issues

Products & Services


Research & Trends


155 N. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60606

800 10th Street, N.W.
Two CityCenter, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20001-4956