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Sharing What We’ve Learned: Resources for States Interested in Reducing Substance Use Disorders

After a year and a half working with Medicaid and behavioral health agencies to develop robust approaches for addressing substance use disorders, we have much to share with states. As described in the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP) High Intensity Learning Collaborative (HILC) factsheet (PDF, 81.74 KB), we have been working directly with a small group of leader states on issues related to reducing substance use disorders. In addition, 48 states participated in our Targeted Learning Opportunities (TLOs), a monthly web-based learning series. Across IAP, we use a combination of dissemination strategies, such as hosting webinars and posting related resources and tools on our website, to spread findings to support all states in their Medicaid delivery system reform efforts. In this month’s commentary, we briefly describe each of our strategies for sharing Reducing Substance Use Disorder resources: (1) national webinars; (2) webpage resources; and (3) ongoing technical support and tools.

In April 2016, we kicked off a four-part national dissemination webinar series open to all states and stakeholders. Through these webinars, we share key lessons learned and “the best of the best” resources that we have collected working on the High Intensity Learning Collaborative (HILC). Our first webinar highlighted several of the HILC states’ IAP experience and trajectory. The second webinar, held in July 2016, provided an overview of the substance use disorder (SUD) care continuum and the utility of recovery support services in SUD treatment. Our final two national webinars will cover the following topics:

  • Linking & Merging Data Sources. The September webinar (Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM EDT) will provide an overview of merging SUD-related data sources with other state databases. Specifically, participants will learn how using different data sources can provide additional insight on a patient’s continuum of care when services are paid for by Medicaid and other state agencies. Register for this webinar.
  • Incorporating SUD into Managed Care Contracts. In the last national webinar (Wednesday, December 14, 2016 from 3:30 PM-5:00 PM EDT), participants will hear about key SUD-related elements of the Medicaid managed care final rule. Additionally, speakers will share examples of managed care contract language within the frame of the CMS’s guidance around SUD 1115 demonstrations. Registration information on this webinar is not yet available, but will be shared publicly via the SOTA listserv.

In addition to hosting national webinars, we recently updated the SUD IAP page on Medicaid.gov to include many of the presentations from our 15 TLOs. These TLOs connected states to content experts, leading practices and peer state agencies across the country on a number of topics within SUD delivery system reform, such as encouraging SUD provider participation in Medicaid and the integration of primary care and SUD services.

In the coming months, we will share several tools to assist Medicaid agencies with their SUD-related care and payment reforms. Two examples of the types of tools we are developing for states include a starting-point resource around developing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) payment bundles and an SUD provider and service capacity document. The first MAT tool is designed to help states that are interested in understanding how to begin developing MAT bundles by looking at different options for bundled payments that correspond to clinical pathways as a client moves through a course of treatment). The second tool, focused around SUD provider and service capacity, is intended to support states with an understanding of how different data sets may be used to describe the geographic distribution, services delivered and the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s levels of care among SUD providers, particularly providers of residential treatment services. Given the variety of tools and processes in use across states to assess the availability of SUD providers and services, we see these tools as resources to get states thinking about which approaches are most suitable for them.

Finally, states interested in strategic support related to pursuing 1115 demonstration projects for SUD as outlined in the 2015 State Medicaid Directors Letter (PDF, 205.64 KB) can contact tyler.sadwith@cms.hhs.gov for additional information. We look forward to creating and sharing resources that support your states’ SUD delivery system reform efforts.

IAP Commentary
Karen LLanos, Director, Medicaid IAP and Tyler Sadwith, Health Insurance Specialist, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, CMCS


Collections: IAP Commentary