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Four PA Health Care Organizations Awarded $1M Grants for Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment

October 17, 2017

The Wolf Administration today awarded $1 million grants to assist four health care organizations in developing medication-assisted treatment programs for Pennsylvanians suffering from the disease of addiction. 

Grant recipients were: Allegheny Health Network, Geisinger Clinic, UPMC PinnacleHealth, and Wellspan Health.

Research shows that when addiction treatment includes both medication and therapy, patients do better. The $1 million grants will provide more primary care physicians with the support they need to prescribe medication-assisted treatment to their patients. This lays the groundwork for patients to receive quality addiction treatment in their communities.

The grants complement the commonwealth’s 2016 funding for Centers of Excellence. These centers were created to provide evidence-based medication-assisted treatment, primarily for people with Medicaid coverage. The new round of funding will broaden treatment access for commercially insured people who are fighting addiction.

The four grants are funded through the 21st Century Cures grant, a $26.5 million federal grant that Pennsylvania received to combat the commonwealth’s heroin and opioid epidemic. Each day, Pennsylvania loses 13 people to overdoses from different kinds of drugs, as shown on this interactive map developed by HAP.

HAP and the Pennsylvania hospital community are pursuing many strategies to prevent and treat addiction:

  • As part of the South Central PA Opioid Awareness Coalition, hospitals and health systems, doctors, pharmacists, HAP, and others are working to address the opioid crisis through awareness, education, and action.
  • Hospitals across the state are working on “warm handoffs” to help overdose survivors connect to addiction treatment as well as other initiatives as described in this opinion by HAP President and CEO Andy Carter. 

In addition, HAP is supporting Pennsylvania hospitals as they:

  • Use the state’s prescription drug monitoring database to monitor patients’ use of prescription pain medication and help them avoid or address the possibility of addiction
  • Work on safe prescribing guidelines to ensure proper dosing and eliminate dangerous drug interactions
  • Keep pace with rapidly evolving opioid guidelines and regulations

HAP also:

  • Convenes workshops where providers and other stakeholders share treatment best practices
  • Participates in Pennsylvania’s Multidisciplinary Workgroup on Infant Substance Exposure (MDWISE), charged with minimizing prenatal substance exposure and improving social and health outcomes for infants, children, and families

HAP will continue to monitor and share information about state and national efforts to fight addiction and the opioid epidemic, including legislative and regulatory policy developments and treatment strategies. 

For more information about HAP’s work to combat the opioid crisis, contact Michael J. Consuelos, MD, HAP's senior vice president, clinical integration.

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