Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an effective treatment that combines the use of behavioral therapy, counseling, and FDA approved medications to provide a "whole-patient" approach to the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Increasing access to MAT can decrease opioid misuse and opioid-related deaths and overdoses.
Efforts are being made to increase access to services for populations identified as at-risk, including pregnant women, Native Americans, veterans, aging adults, incarcerated individuals, youth, and those living in rural areas.
California MAT Expansion Projection 1.0
The Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) received funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for MAT expansion, which includes the statewide Hub and Spoke program to improve, expand, and increase access to MAT services. Under this funding, DHCS is also launching Addiction Treatment Starts Here: Primary Care, which is dedicated to providing up to 40 primary care health centers with methods and tools to create a MAT program or expand their existing MAT programs.
Another component of DHCS' MAT expansion efforts is the Emergency Department (ED) MAT Bridge Program. This program builds upon the pilot funded by the California Health Care Foundation to assist ED's in connecting patients with opioid use disorder to MAT services.
California MAT Expansion Projection 2.0
DHCS received additional funding from SAMHSA to further expand MAT efforts in California with the MAT Expansion Project 2.0. With this funding, DHCS is addressing multiple at-risk populations including Tribal, rural, pregnant women, and youth populations.
The project expands services for Tribal and Urban Indian Health Programs, including the MAT Champions project for telehealth, increased access to Naloxone, technical assistance, and academic detailing. The MAT expansion project addresses at-risk youth by partnering with Young People in Recovery to create programs that provide support and life skills to youth recovering from opioid use disorders.
Opioid Systems of Care: Transitions
The Health Management Associates Opioid Systems of Care: "Transitions," grant is a DHCS State Opioid Response funded effort to strengthen three major categories of addiction treatment systems in up to 10 counties.
The goals are to:
1) Evaluate and enhance the transitions of care between all new drug treatment programming that has been developed throughout California;
2) Identify and implement buprenorphine Quick Start sites in those areas most affected by the opioid epidemic;
3) Build a consistent knowledge base to provide high-touch, evidence-based, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and behavioral therapies for those patients initiated on MAT, or transitioning through care.
These three efforts are mutually reinforcing, comprehensive county-focused efforts that pave the way to ensuring patients have highly-coordinated access to all levels of care with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), with timely connections to high-fidelity, evidence-based OUD treatment with seamless transitions across the care continuum. This is being accomplished through county-level outreach to ensure broad, multi-sector stakeholder representation (e.g., behavioral and physical health, treatment and recovery, corrections, jails, courts and probations, social services and child welfare, public health, community-based services, persons with lived experience, etc.) in assessment and process improvement events (PIE) to map the current status and build or enhance the future treatment and recovery ecosystem; establishment of MAT quick-start sites; development and provision of education and durable training materials and methods to build a consistent knowledge base in the service of high fidelity and predictable practice methods; and technical assistance to address gaps and barriers identified in the county PIEs.