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Pennsylvania designates centers to coordinate publicly funded treatment for opioid dependence

July 18, 2016
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Twenty regional “centers of excellence” that will coordinate opioid disorder treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries in Pennsylvania will begin state-funded operations by Oct. 1, state officials announced on July 14. Each of the 20 treatment organizations will be licensed as a drug and alcohol provider that offers one of the three approved medication treatments for opioid dependence (methadone, buprenorphine and injectable naltrexone).

Funding from the state will support activities that include deployment of a community-based care management team of licensed and unlicensed professionals, as well as the tracking and reporting of outcomes. All of the centers of excellence will have to make use of an electronic health record within 18 months of their designation.

The state is embracing a “hub-and-spoke” model of integrated medication treatment, counseling and other healthcare services; that is the terminology that has been used to describe a Vermont initiative that many consider to be the most comprehensive state-funded response to the opioid crisis in the country.

“As our strategy involves both behavioral therapy and FDA-approved medication that individuals take to help curb cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms, it can improve the odds of recovery,” state Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said in a news release last week.

Some of the selected centers include Wedge Medical Center, Inc., and Temple University in Philadelphia County; Gateway Rehabilitation Center and Tadiso Inc., in Allegheny County; Habit OPCO Dunmore Comprehensive Treatment Center in Lackawanna County; and Pennsylvania Counseling Services in York County.

 

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