As we enter the next wave of the opioid epidemic, it has become even more important for SUD programs in LA County to offer the most effective treatment possible. The opioid problem is becoming more lethal than ever with the spread of more dangerous substances like fentanyl and the growing trend of patients using opioids together with methamphetamine, cocaine, and other drugs. As experts in treating patients with the most complex and challenging issues related to substance use, providers in the SAPC network play a critical role in LA County’s efforts to address this public health crisis. For some of the patients served by SAPC providers, Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) can save lives and improve long-term recovery. Given the potential benefits of MAT, County and State of CA contracts stipulate that all of their licensed providers either directly provide MAT or link patients in their care to MAT services.
SAPC recognizes that not all organizations have the capacity to deliver MAT onsite. That’s why providers in LA County have the flexibility to choose between two MAT options:
MAT Access Models
#1 DIRECT MODEL
Directly Offering MAT
Provider agencies that have the knowledge, staff, and desire to directly offer MAT to their patients and provide a biopsychosocial model of integrated SUD on site
#2 REFERRAL + LINKAGE
Provider agencies that do not offer MAT directly to their patients and must establish integrated services through referral and ongoing co-management relationships with other provider agencies (e.g., Opioid Treatment Programs [OTP] and/or non-OTPs that can offer MAT) to ensure patients have access to a biopsychosocial model of SUD care and MAT.
There’s a lot out there promoting MAT, but there are very few resources to help SUD programs implement it—until now. Efforts to increase the availability of MAT in recent years, have focused on getting primary care and hospitals to deliver MAT, as a result, there isn’t much practical, real-world guidance for SUD programs on how to design and implement MAT. That’s why SAPC is collaborating with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) to provide free coaching and support to assist the SAPC network providers in designing or improving their MAT Implementation Model.
CIBHS MAT experts are available to work with you through all the steps of MAT implementation, including:
Assessing your program strengths and identifying resources that can help improve program capacity related to MAT.
Choosing a model—Direct Model or Referral + Linkage Model—that is most appropriate for your organization.
For programs that choose Direct MAT Delivery, coaching and technical assistance to assist in developing the policies, procedures, and implementation strategies needed to begin or enhance the delivery of MAT services onsite.
For programs that choose Referral + Linkage, coaching and technical assistance to support finding community partners who can deliver MAT, developing policies and procedures to facilitate care coordination, and implementing processes to provide quality, coordinated care for patients who receive MAT.
Ensuring that all patients receiving MAT (either in the program or elsewhere) receive care that is compliant with county, state, and federal regulations, and aligned with best practices.
Developing an implementation strategy to ensure that their MAT services remain sustainable and clinically effective in the long-term.
Whichever MAT option is best for your organization, CIBHS will help you implement it and implement it well so that you can meet SAPC’s requirements, save lives, and help put patients on the path to recovery.