Substance use disorders
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The goal of this project is to maximize opportunities for clients to receive effective and successful treatment for substance use disorders.
The Health Care Authority (HCA) is committed to working with providers and community stakeholders to fully address substance use disorders.
In early 2015, HCA reached out to health care providers to get feedback regarding substance use disorders and Medication Assisted Treatment. The hundreds of responses received gave us insight into the challenges, recommendations, and experiences of those in the community.
Substance use disorders are long-lasting, progressive and deteriorating diseases. Studies demonstrate that treatment with buprenorphine is comparable to methadone in reducing illicit opioid use. At higher fixed doses, retention rates approach those found with methadone maintenance, and for Medicaid patients, there is no evidence of increased costs or safety problems compared with methadone.
Medicaid coverage of buprenorphine prescribed outside of traditional opioid treatment programs increases the number of access points for treatment and provides patients with additional flexibility in managing their illness.
Further information on medication assisted treatment and policy changes may be found on the webinar presented by the Deputy Medical Director, Charissa Fotinos.
- Community and provider information from UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute can be found at StopOverdose.org.
- Medical providers can help prevent drug misuse through the Prescription Monitoring Program.
- The Medicaid Patient Review and Coordination program helps prevent over-utilization and inappropriate use of medical services. Learn how to refer a patient.
- Collaborative Opioid Prescribing Education Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (COPE-REMS) offers a free Category 1 CME online training to improve doctor-patient communications, shared decision making, and collaborative goal-setting. COPE REMS uses realistic video vignettes of providers and patients to demonstrate clinical practice through a self-paced tutorial course.
- Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing offers educational resources to prescribers.
- The UW Pain Toolkit supplies information and resources on opioid therapy and pain management.
- Department of Health's TakeAsDirected provides patient educational materials on opioid safety and data on Washington's opioid overdoses.
- Agency Medical Directors' Group's (AMDG) offers tools and web training as well as a recently updated Guideline on Opioid Dosing for Chronic Non-cancer Pain.
- Access the current Medicaid pharmacy criteria, forms, and guidelines for information on Medication Assisted Treatment.
- Learn about the Department of Social and Health Services programs for substance use disorder treatment.