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Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Region X

Monday, September 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Thomas Johnson
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Last September, HRSA awarded $200 million in supplemental funding to health centers across the nation to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services in an effort to help fight the opioid overdose crisis. $14 million was distributed to 83 health centers in Region X. In this article, we will summarize how Region X health centers have expanded their services to help combat this epidemic.


Throughout the region, FQHCs have steadily hired more employees to provide patients with alcohol or drug abuse counseling and/or treatment services. Today, there are 42% more substance use services personnel working at CHCs than there were just five years ago.


Substance Use Providers in Region X Line Graph


Matching this rise in personnel has been an increase in the total number of patients receiving substance use services. Last year health centers provided substance use services to 34% more patients than in 2012. The biggest increase in patients served occurred in 2016, when health centers provided assistance to more than 3,000 additional patients compared to the year prior.


Substance Use Patients in Region X Line Graph


Despite the increase in patients and personnel, the total number of substance use visits has actually decreased from 190,582 in 2012 to 186,528 in 2017. With the considerable increase in patients, this means that the rate of visits per patient has noticeably declined in the past five years.


This change in visits per patient could be attributable to health centers more regularly referring patients to outside specialists or adoption of new treatment delivery techniques that are recorded differently in their UDS report (telehealth delivery, group sessions, increased utilization of behavioral health peers).


Substance Use Visits per Patient in Region X Line Graph


In 2016, HRSA awarded $94 million to health centers nationwide to expand substance abuse services and, in particular, to increase the number of patients with access to MAT for opioid use and other substance use disorders. 24 health centers in Region X received grants as part of this program, and as a result there are more health-center employed providers eligible to provide MAT services than ever before.


MAT Providers in Region X Dumbell Plot


Last year, these clinicians provided MAT to a combined total of 5,425 patients in Region X. That's 88% more patients served than in 2016, when health centers provided MAT to 2,878 patients.

MAT Patients in Region X Dumbell Plot


As the opioid crisis continues to affect communities throughout Region X and beyond, FQHCs have continuously shown that they are committed to fighting opioid addition and overdose through evidence-based practice. If your health center has implemented any particularly innovative programs, we would love to hear about your experiences!


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