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New Guide Lists Federal Resources for Addressing Substance Use Disorder in Rural Communities

November 08, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced a new resource document that lists federal funding and partnership opportunities that can be used to help combat the opioid epidemic in rural communities.

Created by the Rural Opioid Federal Interagency Working Group, the guide is organized into 26 categories and includes topics like housing, transportation, and employment.

Significant attention, both federally and in this state, has been focused on legislative and policy solutions for this crisis. Federally, The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan policy package aimed at stemming the opioid epidemic, and separately, a funding bill that includes nearly $4 billion in related resources. Policies included in the package are intended to improve access to treatment, bolster the behavioral and mental health workforce, and take tangible actions to prevent opioid misuse.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf recently announced the third renewal of his 90-day opioid disaster declaration related to the heroin and opioid epidemic. The declaration includes 13 initiatives to streamline and improve the commonwealth’s response to the crisis.

Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program has also focused on this issue and recently introduced a new, state-wide quality program focused on implementing clinical pathways specific to patients presenting in hospital emergency departments (ED) for opioid used disorder (OUD). Hospitals in the state have been working to develop and implement the pathways aimed at increasing the number of patients who receive follow up car for opioid treatment within seven days of their visit to the ED.

For additional information on rural resources or the Medicaid quality program, contact Kate Slatt, HAP’s senior director, innovative payment and care delivery. For additional information on legislative and policy issues related to opioid initiatives, contact Michael Consuelos, MD, HAP’s senior vice president, clinical integration or Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy.

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