Abstract: Drug Abuse and Mental Health Innovations How Are Decisions Made at Altamed Health Services? (Society for Prevention Research 22nd Annual Meeting)

279 Drug Abuse and Mental Health Innovations How Are Decisions Made at Altamed Health Services?

Thursday, May 29, 2014
Columbia C (Hyatt Regency Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Michael E. Hochman, MD, MPH, Medical Director for Innovation, AltaMed, Los Angeles, CA
Sandra Pisano, PsyD, Psychologist, AltaMed, Los Angeles, CA
Anjani Reddy, MD, Physician, University of California, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, CA
Lillian Gelberg, MD, MSPH, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Martin Serota, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, AltaMed Health Services, Los Angeles, CA
Background As part of our efforts to provide more patient-centric care, our Federally Qualified Health Center has recognized the importance of taking a systematic approach to screening patients for substance abuse disorders and managing those with positive screening results.  To develop such an approach, we sought collaboration with Academic experts on this topic.

Methods Our mental health team educated AltaMed leadership about the importance of enhancing our substance abuse screening and intervention program.  Our leadership team supported their efforts to identify Academic partnerships to develop such a program.  We were able to form a collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, who were testing the efficacy of the QUIT program that utilized a substance abuse screening tool (WHO ASSIST) and brief intervention protocol, and became a site for their multi-site study.

Results Our initial experience with the efficacy testing of the ASSIST for substance use screening and QUIT brief intervention protocol was favorable, and data suggested that the screening tool was effective at identifying patients in need of substance abuse counseling, and that it was feasible to provide brief counseling on substance abuse for patients with risky levels of drug use.  Data from the project suggested that such counseling led to reductions in substance abuse among study patients.  Our staff also viewed the program favorably.  These positive initial experiences have provided momentum to expand the program to other sites.  Because of the promising initial findings and new requirements from the Affordable Care Act mandating substance abuse screening for provider groups contracted through the insurance exchange, our leadership has been supportive of further grant opportunities to disseminate and implement the screening and intervention program at all of our sites.

Conclusions and Relevance Our experience demonstrates the value of Academic-Community collaboration in implementing innovations aimed at improving care for patients with substance abuse.  The Academic partnership was important in initiating an evidence-based program and obtaining leadership support for the initiative.