COEs Mark Progress Toward Opioid Treatment Goals

During a January 10 event held in Cranberry, western Pennsylvania members of the Centers of Excellence Technical Assistance Project share progress in expanding access to opioid use disorder treatment and ensuring continuity of care for patients.

As part of the Commonwealth's multi-faceted response to the opioid epidemic, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) launched the Centers of Excellence (COE) Technical Assistance Project in 2018. With funding from the PA DHS, Pennsylvania's 45 COEs are working to increase access to addiction treatment and help ensure that people with an opioid-related substance use disorder stay in treatment to receive follow-up care and are supported within their communities. The centers coordinate care for individuals, emphasizing team-based and whole-person-focused treatment.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU), PRHI, Community Care Behavioral Health, and Poonam Alaigh, MD, are providing technical assistance, learning networks, and curriculum tailored to the needs of each COE.

In January, PRHI and PERU hosted four regional, in-person sessions for the opioid use disorder COEs. The sessions took place on January 10 for western Pennsylvania, January 16 for northeastern PA, January 17 for southeastern PA, and January 22 for the Lehigh/Capital region. Collectively, 224 participants from the COEs attended the events.

Many of the personnel involved were social workers, care navigators, certified recovery specialists, and administrators. During the sessions, the COEs shared their successes around engaging and retaining clients. They received an update about a transition to managed care per member per month payments, and participated in breakouts to discuss how to operationalize the new process.

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