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Maine Helps Addiction Treatment Centers

January 12, 2017 – Recently, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services awarded funds to addiction treatment centers, including Discovery House of Calais and Acadia Hospital of Bangor. This is a triumph for Maine addiction treatment centers. They spent many years defending their very existence.

The Role of Addiction Treatment Centers

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Discovery House Program Director, Brent Miller speaking out in a 2013 Bangor City Council meeting.

Discovery House Program Director, Brent Miller frequently met with community members and state officials. The goal was to increase funding, decrease overdoses, and to correct the stigma associated with addiction and forms of treatment. After countless media interviews, town hall meetings and organization collaborations he brought Discovery House to the forefront of the fight. Brent became a voice for patients, families, and even competitor clinics that were facing the challenge of being defunded. As he told The Bangor Daily News, “I think people are starting to understand that opiate addiction treatment is really essential to solving the problem and getting a handle on the disease…”

Enough is Enough

Communities nationwide are reluctant when hearing of a methadone clinic opening in their town. The mantra, “not in my backyard” has become a common response. However, we know more about the nature of addiction now. Unfortunately, many have learned this through personal tragedy and loss. In 2012, the overdose count reached 163 people in the State of Maine. Enough was enough for Mainers when overdoses in 2016 exceeded 270. Treatment needed to be an effort supported by officials and members of the community alike.

Purpose of the Funds

DHHS funds awarded total $2.4 million. The sole purpose is to support medication-assisted treatment programs. This money will not increase the allowable patient count at these treatment programs. However, it will help to fund treatment for low-income and non-insured patients. This is great progress toward supporting those already in recovery, and an encouraging sign for those seeking recovery.

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/20/news/bangor/bangor-to-see-influx-of-funds-to-fight-drug-addiction/

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/07/16/news/bangor/officials-defend-mission-after-lepage-says-hes-trying-to-close-methadone-clinics/

https://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/12/news/bangor/bangor-council-rescinds-methadone-clinic-ordinance/?ref=topStories4Thumb

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/20/politics/lepage-plan-to-add-2-4-million-for-addiction-treatment-wins-praise/?ref=relatedSidebar

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State Funding Helps Warm Handoff Program

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Associates of Alliance Medical Services, Johnstown. Photo credit: https://ams-johnstown.pinnacletreatment.com/

As a Center of Excellence, Alliance Medical Services of Pennsylvania was recently awarded $500,000 in state funding from Cambria County. Thanks to this funding, they are poised to treat up to 50 additional patients and participate in the Warm Handoff Program.

Warm Handoff Program Decreasing Overdose

In the fall of 2016, Pennsylvania established the Warm Handoff Program. The aim is to increase interactions between recovery professionals and patients after they have suffered an opiate overdose. Individuals who do not receive follow-up care are more likely to relapse. According to Gary Tennis, Secretary of the Pennsylvania DDAP, “There is a very high risk of a repeat overdose in the period right after a person leaves the emergency room for a drug overdose. Our aim is to avoid that risk by getting the survivor directly to treatment without hitting the street at all.”

Another Gap

The inspiration for the Warm Handoff Program was the life-saving drug Naloxone. After years of seeing lives lost to overdose, police officers were ready for a change. Since Naloxone’s availability in 2014, Pennsylvania police have been able to save 1,600 lives. However, this created another gap in the system of care. Tennis explained that, “Many people who would have died are now being saved in the ER, but the protocol there has been to release people once they are stabilized, or at most given a card with a referral for treatment.”  As the Chairman of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, Tennis and his staff reached out to ER’s to begin development of the new program. From there recovery advocates and professionals like the staff of Alliance Medical Services were able to begin providing more assistance.

About Alliance Medical Services

alliance-medical-servicesAlliance Medical Services, a division of Pinnacle Treatment Centers, is an outpatient addiction treatment program located in Johnstown, PA. Their team of trained professionals offers medication assisted treatment with individual and group therapy. Furthermore, they passionately encourage their patient’s development of healthy and stable living to support their journey to recovery. Learn more about Alliance Medical Services

 

http://www.tribdem.com/news/cambria-county-approves-state-funding-for-additional-opioid-treatment-specialists/article_d3886fa8-bd8b-11e6-ae70-af6ce895235e.html
http://www.drugfree.org/news-service/warm-handoff-program-aims-get-overdose-survivors-directly-treatment/
http://www.health.pa.gov/My%20Health/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/A-D/Pages/Act-139-of-2014.aspx#.WGv7PmQrI1I

 

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New Horizon Treatment Services, Inc.

About

New Horizon Treatment ServiceNew Horizon Treatment Services provides comprehensive multi-disciplinary outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial care addiction treatment services. Moreover, their treatment services include medicated assisted treatment options for alcohol and opiates.  Medication assisted treatment is based upon the individuals recovery needs and may include Vivitrol, Methadone or Subutex. Other services include individual and group counseling related to anxiety and stress, grief and loss, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Testimonial

“Since converting to SMART, our Third Party Billing denial rate has steadily improved, and the rich management reporting features have been key. The support team’s can-do attitude makes all the difference. A solid system with superb support, SMART’s in for the long haul.”   

– Executive Director & Quality Assurance Officer

 

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Medical Documentation – Protect Your Clinic

Risk management through medical documentation was an important topic addressed and presented via a mock trial at the 2015 AATOD conference. As treatment providers, you are responsible for taking the appropriate measures to ensure that patient documentation is accurate and thorough. Consistent documentation not only ensures that important patient progress is recorded, but it is also key to protecting your clinic from legal retaliation should a patient experience an unfortunate event while enrolled in your Medication Assisted Treatment program.

your-clinic-addiction-treatment-forumAddiction Treatment Forum (ATForum) recently published an article outlining the specific protocol that should be followed for every patient and emphasizing the tasks that should be tailored to patients in specific circumstances. “The problem wasn’t necessarily that the counseling wasn’t done. The problem was that it wasn’t documented.”(1) Read the full article.

About ATForum

Reports on substance abuse and addiction therapies, research, news, and events of interest to both healthcare professionals and patients with a focus on methadone maintenance (MM) treatment for opioid addiction. AT Forum is made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, St. Louis, MO, a manufacturer of opiate and alcohol addiction products. (2)

1.) http://atforum.com/2015/08/reduce-opioid-treatment-program-legal-liability/

2.) http://atforum.com/