Pennsylvania Targets Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Medicine abstract background
Pennsylvania leads the nation in drug overdose deaths among young males ages 12 to 25, and is among the leaders in the country for all age groups. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is working to reverse this trend. Recently, DHS announced two programs aimed at expanding and transforming substance abuse services statewide.

Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence

The first program is the Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence (OUD-COE), funded under the 2016-2017 state budget. The Centers of Excellence will coordinate care for Medicaid recipients who have an opioid use disorder, as well as co-occurring behavioral and/or physical health conditions. The COE will be the hub around which treatment revolves; with a community based care management (CBCM) team providing linkages to both treatment resources and supportive services, such as housing and employment assistance.

The twenty designated Centers of Excellence are:

  • Tadiso Incorporated, Allegheny County
  • Gateway Rehabilitation Center, Allegheny County
  • New Directions Treatment Services, Berks County
  • Pyramid Healthcare, Inc., Blair County
  • Penn Foundation, Inc., Bucks County
  • Alliance Medical Services-Johnstown, Cambria County
  • Pennsylvania Counseling Services – Allison Hill, Dauphin County
  • Crozer-Chester Medical Center – Community Hospital, Delaware County
  • Esper Treatment Center, Erie County
  • Habit OPCO Dunmore Comprehensive Treatment Center, Lackawanna County
  • TW Ponessa & Associates Counseling Services, Inc., Lancaster County
  • Treatment Trends, Inc., Lehigh County
  • Pennsylvania Care LLC DBA Miners Medical, Luzerne County
  • Crossroads Counseling, Inc., Lycoming/Tioga/Clinton/Centre Counties
  • Resources for Human Development, Inc./Montgomery County Methadone Center, Montgomery County
  • Thomas Jefferson Narcotic Addiction Treatment/Maternal Addiction Treatment, Philadelphia County
  • Wedge Medical Center, Inc., Philadelphia County
  • Temple University, Philadelphia County
  • The CARE Center, Inc., Washington County
  • Pennsylvania Counseling Services, York County

Medication-Assisted Treatment

The second program is an expansion of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) services in rural Pennsylvania, with funds received from an almost $3 million federal grant. MAT involves the use behavioral therapy in conjunction with approved medications, such as buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone, to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. DHS will team with HealthChoices MCOs, the University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute, and existing MAT providers, to support rural primary care practices in the development of additional MAT programs.

Based on The Center for Rural Pennsylvania definition of rural and urban, which is based on population density, 48 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are classified as rural. In 2010, the population of these counties combined was nearly 3.5 million residents, or roughly 27% of Pennsylvania’s total population.

Both programs are scheduled to begin this Fall.