Operation HOPE (Heroin Opiate Prevention Effort) of Waterville, ME is slated to commence in January 2017. Waterville Police is partnering with PAARI (Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative), Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, Maine General Health, Healthy Northern Kennebec and Discovery House / Acadia Healthcare to increase the accessibility of treatment. The hope is that it will increase the likelihood that people will seek out treatment.
This treatment-focused program will help those suffering from opioid addiction. It will allow citizens to walk into the police department to seek help with their addiction. And they can do so without fear of arrest if they are willing to enter treatment. Next, they will receive a screening for eligibility and may even be qualified for payment assistance.
Partnering with Discovery House
As one participating Operation HOPE treatment center, Discovery House will work with officials to provide services for affected individuals in the region of Central Maine. After 28 years in operation, this CARF Accredited treatment center is poised to offer the range of services needed to combat the opioid epidemic. They offer counseling, medication maintenance, clinical and medical evaluations, as well as aftercare planning.
According to the CDC, 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Moreover, in 2015 alone, 272 people died from drug overdoses in Maine. Ideally, early education or diversion programs would be enough to slow this growing problem. However, the reality is that the approach needs to be multifaceted with a strong focus on treatment and recovery.
SSTAR, a substance-abuse treatment organization, is formulating plans for an addiction treatment research facility in Fall River, MA. “It will be a small part of a full treatment center,” said CEO Nancy E. Paull. “I’m not building a methadone clinic. I’m building a research and treatment facility.” According to The Herald News, this facility will be complete with inpatient treatment, outpatient clinical services, and will perform research into programs and therapies. One possible location is the former home of Border City Mill No. 3 intersecting Weaver and West streets. This building was lost in a fire of February of this year.
Plans call for a research facility with 60 beds (30 of which are for individuals) in their detox program with 30 more servicing those in need of rehabilitation. Furthermore, this will be supplemented with an outpatient medication-assisted treatment program. “We’ll expand our treatment services,” Paull said. “It will allow us to expand our research. It will allow us to increase primary care.”
For 40 years, SSTAR has dedicated themselves to providing a range of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Because of this, they recognize the extent of the opioid crisis and the tremendous need for their services in Fall River. Yet, they’re only capable of handling 20% of those in need of in-patient treatment. “There is a huge demand for services that we are not able to meet,” Paull said. No official sale was made, but a decision is expected within the next 30 to 60 days.
Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) is a non-profit health care and social service agency. They serve Southeastern Massachusetts communities with a wide-range of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. SSTAR programs are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health Retardation.
The AATOD 2016 Conference recently adjourned at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, MD. Organizers reported record attendance at this year’s conference. As a result, attendees, presenters, and exhibitors enjoyed networking with more opioid treatment professionals than ever before. SMART Associates were excited for the chance to spend face-to-face time with customers from across the country and to meet new attendees.
New Strategies – Disorders, Stigma, Recovery
The conference theme, “Saving Lives: Access to Improved Health and Recovery,” shined a light on new strategies for strengthening behavioral healthcare. Related learning and networking sessions spanned all five days of this outstanding conference. Treatment professionals had the opportunity to learn more about co-occurring disorders, opioid overdose prevention, and a variety of other current issues.
Moreover, this year’s event featured a forward-thinking workshop, “The New Day Campaign: Where Stigma Ends, Healing Begins.” This promoted other healing paths to ending the stigma associated with substance use disorder. The workshop showcased poetry, music, painting, and other art forms. These were examples of how art can not only aid in the recovery process but also can serve as a way to bring about understanding and end stigma.
Appreciating Dedicated Treatment Professionals
In line with years past, Clinical Science, Vista Pharm, and SMART Management, Inc. hosted another exciting customer appreciation party. Customers ascended upon the American Visionary Arts Museum Halloween night for an evening of art appreciation, dinner, and surprises! Guests enjoyed touring the multi-floor visionary museum leisurely throughout the evening. Finally, the night concluded with a grand raffle drawing. This included an Apple Watch, FitBit, wireless bluetooth speaker, wireless travel charging station, and even a Polaroid camera. This was an excellent opportunity for professionals to relax and enjoy informal networking in a fun atmosphere.
Gift Give-Away Winner
Team SMART congratulates this year’s booth gift giveaway winner Marcelly, Clinic Manager from Turning Point Clinic. Since 2003, this Baltimore-based clinic has been providing treatment and recovery services to individuals affected by addiction. Furthermore, it is their mission to bring about hope and healing and to help create a path to move forward from the heroin epidemic.
Thank you to all who participated in our gift give away! We look forward to seeing you at the next AATOD!
Since 1984, AATOD has been encouraging and facilitating continuous improvement in behavioral healthcare. This association works with federal and state officials, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Services Administration. Additionally, they work with the World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence to improve treatment policies and international initiatives.
We’re proud to shine the spotlight on CODAC, providing opioid treatment as well as recovery and prevention resources to individuals, families, and communities. Recently, the state deemed CODAC as the first “Center of Excellence” regarding the treatment of opioid use disorders.
Rhode Island health officials estimate 20,000 Rhode Islanders are addicted to some form of opioid. However, only a few thousand are getting medication-assisted treatment. Given the number of people affected by addiction, there is a shortage of certified physicians. Currently, R.I. only has a total of 171 buprenorphine prescribers.
Increasing Opioid Treatment Access
Governor Raimondo advocates for the access of buprenorphine (Suboxone) and the availability of psychiatrists, social workers, and recovery coaches. “Rhode Island’s first Center of Excellence will make it easier for patients with opioid use disorders…,” offers Raimondo.
CODAC provides Methadone, Naltrexone, or Suboxone for patients coming into treatment, so physicians can work with patients to choose the best treatment option for each person. The Centers for Excellence model helps compensate for the shortage of certified professionals. Rebecca Boss, acting director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals celebrates CODAC for “recognizing overdose as a public health crisis and moving swiftly to complete the application process.”
About 1,700 Rhode Islanders died of drug overdoses between 2006 and 2014. In 2014, Rhode Island had the sixth-highest rate of overdose deaths per 100,000 residents in the country. The US Centers for Disease Control blames a majority of drug deaths on prescription opioids and heroin.
Primary Care Providers Needed
Patients may walk into a Center of Excellence or be referred. From there, patients are stabilized, given treatment, and referred to a care provider in the community. Advocates hope the design will help primary care doctors treat a growing number of opioid-dependent or addicted people. Centers can cater to patients who may need initial intensive care but do not require in-patient care.
Rhode Island is not alone in battling citizen opioid addiction. Connecticut recently deployed a three-year plan to combat addiction based on Yale University research. In August alone, 27% of those admitted to the New Haven outpatient clinic were diagnosed with opioid-use disorder. As US Attorney, Peter Neronha recently pointed out, the numbers of those in need may be obscured. “Those potentially at risk of death were brought back by Narcan.” Naloxone stops the effects of heroin or opioid overdose, stripping the opiate receptor site, and restoring breathing. “When we realize how many times Narcan is being administered, we start to get a sense of how deadly this problem really is,” offers Neronha.
Since 1971, CODAC has served the Rhode Island community. Its five locations enable a range of outpatient recovery treatment and prevention services. Those struggling with drugs, gambling, or addictive behaviors rely on CODAC for compassionate and personalized service.
Glenwood Life Counseling Center, which provides compassionate addiction treatment and prevention services, is now partnering with SMART for their EHR needs. They chose SMART for our reputation of excellent partner service. This partnership also supports their need to move to a 100% paperless treatment facility. Moreover, our optional billing feature provides them the ability to eliminate the need to outsource their insurance billing.
SMART provides automated solutions to address the critical business functions of opioid treatment programs. This includes insurance billing, admissions, clinical and medical service delivery, incident report management, and quality control reports. These EHR capabilities empower treatment providers, like Glenwood Life, to deliver exceptional care with efficiency.
SMART’s training team recently visited their Baltimore, MD clinic to provide EHR training to their staff. Following the training, Executive Director Lillian Donnard said: “Michael (SMART’s Implementation Director) was great both as a SMART trainer and as an inspiring leader.” CFO Frank Satterfield added that “Michael seems to know almost everything there is to know about SMART and can convey this to the users. He is patient and very direct, which we needed. His familiarity with CARF and how to run a program is very helpful. This was an excellent training.”
About Glenwood Life Counseling Center
Glenwood Life is a CARF-certified ambulatory opioid-agonist treatment program. This Baltimore Maryland based substance abuse treatment and prevention services organization was established in 1971. They work to medically stabilize their patients allowing them to engage in recovery and rehabilitation processes more readily. It is also their mission to respectfully deliver quality medication-assisted treatment to those affected by addiction.
New Jersey based addiction treatment center, The Lennard Clinic has chosen the SMART Solution as their EHR software of choice. SMART Management, Inc. is partnering with both their Elizabeth and Newark locations to support their opioid treatment efforts.
The SMART Solution is designed to help improve efficiency, streamline operations and increase revenue opportunities. The comprehensive medical and clinical treatment modules allows entire treatment teams to stay up to date in real time. As a result, ease of collaboration improves among treatment teams. Better collaboration allows teams to devote more time to patient care.
Safety features are also important to providing quality patient care. One such feature is medication inventory management in the SMART Solution. This feature helps to decrease dosing errors. Therefore, patient safety increases. Additionally, this equips teams with the tools needed for DEA audits which may happen at anytime. The Clinic Director Ajbola noted that, “Oversight and accountability is very important to me. SMART gives me that.”
The centralized billing feature promotes successful revenue cycle management. The billing module includes features such as customizable reports, claims management, and payment due notifications. All features are compliant with industry standards including ICD-10, DSM-V and HIPAA.
Established in 1984, The Lennard Clinic provides specialized services for individuals affected by addiction. As a CARF accredited treatment provider they strive to improve behavioral health outcomes for the people of New Jersey. The Lennard Clinic’s SAMHSA certified services help to reduce illicit drug use and decrease criminal activities. They provide medication assisted treatment individualized treatment, group counseling and other specialized services.
SMART is pleased to announce our return as an exhibitor at the AATOD 2016 Conference in Baltimore, MD. Patient care is this year’s primary focus, “Saving Lives: Access to Improved Health & Recovery.” AATOD brings together thought leaders from across the nation to share their passion for patient care and recovery. As a result, this gathering yields invaluable industry knowledge rarely found all in one place. Learning more about the ever-changing needs of the opioid treatment industry draws us to this conference year after year. Also, we look forward to reuniting with our customers, as well as all treatment providers. Our interactions with attendees directly impact the evolution of our EHR.
Supporting Better Patient Care
Last year we saw an influx of new attendees energized to share and learn best practices. This change undoubtedly correlates with the growing opioid epidemic. Our nation’s continuing recovery struggle is what influences the continuous development of the SMART Solution.
Helping providers deliver the best in class patient care is what drives the functionalities we build into our opioid treatment EHR. The carefully designed features of our EHR can help to implement efficiencies across treatment organizations.
For 25 years, SMART Management’s EHR the SMART Solution has helped opioid treatment providers improve collaboration and increase their efficiency. As SMART customer Turning Point of Bermuda said, “Patient files are easily accessible with the press of a button, and we are better able to coordinate patient care initiatives.”
Please stop by booth #307, register to win this year’s gift give away and learn how our EHR can help you improve patient care.
The American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence holds this conference every eighteen months. This event brings together national and international opioid treatment professionals for three days of knowledge sharing. More specifically, attendees delve into evidence-based clinical practice, current research breakthroughs, and organizational developments affecting the future of opioid addiction treatment. Also, AATOD works with federal and state agencies to develop guidelines for improving patient care in the substance abuse treatment field. Learn more or discover other substance abuse treatment and EHR events.
SMART is honored to announce that Spectrum Health Care, Inc. has chosen the SMART Solution as their EHR of choice. Our EHR has been implemented in their clinic in Jersey City, NJ. Spectrum Health has been providing outpatient opioid treatment services to the people of Hudson County since 1984. SMART welcomes this CARF-Accredited opioid treatment provider to our family of software customers.
It was a joy meeting the clinic staff and to learning more about their individual needs and experiences. We worked side-by-side with them to configure the software to their needs. Then we establish system settings to support their workflow and increase efficiency in daily operations. With any implementation, there is a great deal of information to collect, transfer, and protect. And training on any new EHR involves a fair amount of one-on-one guidance. This ensures that the partner’s needs are thoroughly captured and that goals are clearly expressed. Both teams were pleased with the outcome and are excited for the future this new partnership.
Spectrum Health Care, Inc. is a private, non-profit, CARF accredited agency funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services. Located in Jersey City and serving residents of Hudson County, SHC provides a complete range of coordinated opioid treatment services in a professional and dynamic out-patient care setting. Learn more
Penny LeGate, founder of the Marah Project, with daughter Marah LeGate
The term ‘ addiction epidemic ‘ is topically saturating the media. Consequently, it’s no wonder why so much is ignored about the very real plight of those affected. It is also common for those who have not been affected to deny the reality of addiction as a ‘disease’. And even more so, the importance of ensuring available treatment options within their communities. Even if you’ve only met a handful of addiction recovery experts, there is something you have likely discovered. Specifically that many have become advocates because they had first-hand experience with the loss of a loved one from overdose.
“To think that one day I would grow up and have a child who would be lost to heroin was unthinkable.” This summarizes the personal experience bravely shared by Penny LeGate King County, WA resident and former TV host. She share this with the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force panel this June.
Talking About Solutions
To highlight the fact that addiction knows no bounds, this Task Force (a panel of addiction treatment experts) met with residents of King County. They discussed what is really happening within their communities. Furthermore, as a member of this panel, LeGate also shared, “One of the main things I’m trying to do as a parent who has lost a child is to reach out to other parents who say, ‘It will never happen to me,’ and for those it does happen to, to tell them there is no shame, there is no stigma and the way that people die is hiding in the shadows and not talking about it.”¹
With this in mind, Molly Carney the Executive Director of Evergreen Treatment Services who served on this panel alongside LeGate explained what she has learned. “There is a lot of stigma around the treatment just as there is stigma around the disorder we’re trying to treat; so education, education, education is incredibly important right now.”¹ Notably, Carney has been a long-time proponent of addiction recovery and promoting the availability of treatment services. As a part of this Task Force, she is responsible for implementing drug epidemic solutions. Specifically, solutions involve redirecting the role of law enforcement officials. Their roles will shift from imprisoning addicts to instead helping those affected by addiction. This is in the hope that individuals will get the treatment that they so desperately need to achieve recovery.¹
The Task Force also supports addiction and overdose prevention initiatives. With the hope of changing the way the government addresses addiction, Brad Finegood, co-founder of the task force spoke. “We’re looking at how to get treatment medications out onto the streets and into the hands of users and their loved ones…. We are especially focused on getting increased access to the homeless populations.”²
June 2016 – According to a 2015 article published on NJ.com, New Jersey’s fatal overdose rate was up to three times the national average.¹ The rates in Camden continue to soar above the already astounding numbers reported for other NJ counties.² As the nation continues to fully realize and act on the monumental drug addiction problem, Camden has been no stranger to absorbing the consequences. Coupled with the out of control drug activity, this county has come to be known as one of the most dangerous in America.³
Some officials argue that the worst of days are behind them, but nevertheless there is a lot more work to be done. In a documentary by The Daily, a group of residents gave their own accounts of what it is really like living in that area. Most businesses, like restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels have long been closed leaving behind abandoned buildings. Walking along the street is safe for no one, as one woman attested before mentioning that her cousin what gunned down just two days prior.⁴ The issues of violence and drug addiction are undoubtedly closely correlated.
Tackling one the the two major issues, addiction treatment facilities are steadfastly operating in some of the most affect areas. A once a shunned and misunderstood form of addiction treatment is now being gratefully embraced in Camden and around the country. Medication-assisted treatment facilities, like Urban Treatment Associates, employ the use of medications like methadone or buprenorphine to help stabilize patients seeking recovery. Increasing and maintaining the availability if treatment is essential to the revitalization of Camden.