Integrating Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Primary Care
As the largest payers of substance use disorder treatment services, states have a significant incentive to ensure that their residents have access to a health care system that efficiently and effectively identifies and addresses substance use treatment needs. However, national survey data shows that most individuals with an alcohol or opioid use disorder do not receive treatment. Building on the core competencies of the patient-centered medical home, many states have increased the role of primary care providers in ensuring individuals with complex behavioral health needs receive coordinated, whole-person care across the entire healthcare continuum.
This brief discusses two evidence-based interventions that can be implemented in primary care settings (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and Medication-Assisted Treatment) and explores current state payment and delivery reforms that are facilitating and strengthening connections between primary care and specialty behavioral health providers. In addition, the brief discusses key policy considerations that impact program implementation and service utilization. This brief also explores state policies designed to support primary care providers in combating the nations’ growing opioid epidemic.
Support for this brief was provided by The Commonwealth Fund.