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Telemedicine and Hepatitis Treatment

Thinking Outside the Clinic – Telemedicine and Hepatitis Treatment

People affected by substance use disorder often suffer from other physical or mental illnesses. Those in addiction treatment already face the challenges of consistently making it to treatment and staying sober. Co-occurring disorders like heroin addiction and Hepatitis C generate many additional obstacles which can lead to patients putting treatment of select health related issues (like hep C) on the back burner. Although this virus may not present the same urgency as withdrawal, “70%–85% for people who become infected with Hepatitis C, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection.” ¹

Telemedicine and Hepatitis Treatment Some addiction treatment providers are taking an extra step to ensure that their patients healthcare needs are addressed using telemedicine. This is defined by SAMHSA as “…Two-way, real time interactive communication between the patient, and the physician or practitioner at the distant site. This electronic communication means the use of interactive telecommunications equipment that includes, at a minimum, audio and video equipment…”² Providing this service to patients with the co-occurring disorders has been shown to help address the neglected portions of their personal healthcare.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently awarded a 5 year, $7 million grant to a professor of medicine at University of Buffalo to support his efforts in addressing the spread of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among drug users who share needles.³ As our nation continues to deal with the opioid epidemic, Hepatitis C has increase immensely.  However, the UB study is presenting positive outcomes as a result of the virtual integration of telemedicine. Read more in the full article by UB³

1.) http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/

2.) http://www.samhsa.gov/section-223/care-coordination/telehealth-telemedicine

3.) http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2016/05/052.html#sthash.66i7HemH.dpuf

discovery-house-program-director

Too Late for Some. Consequences of Maine Underfunding Addiction Treatment

discovery-houseThe Bangor Daily News (BDN)  helped give a public voice to substance use treatment facilities during these fiscally turbulent years in Maine. Individuals who are reaching out to get into treatment for their addiction are being wait-listed for long periods of time due to lack of state funding for opioid treatment programs. Maine is finally realizing the depth of their opiate problem and legislators are now taking steps to override the devastating changes. These changes have left thousands of opiate-dependent Mainers without treatment access.

Discovery House‘s Program Director Brent Miller spoke with Bangor Daily News about his clinic’s wait-list. Currently he has 550 methadone patients with approximately 61 people on their ever-growing wait-list. As soon as they are able to take in a new patient they call them, however, many times that individual has become unreachable for reasons like hospitalization, imprisonment or death from overdose. Brent told BDN, “You ought to celebrate that a person is reaching out to get well…We impugn them at every turn and make it difficult for them to actually do it. That’s why it’s a miracle that people are able to fight through the prejudice and actually get into recovery.”

There are whispers of treatment facility reimbursement rates being raised, but for now its just a waiting game. Read the full article

New Brunswick Counseling Center Location

Installation at New Brunswick Counseling Center

The SMART Software team worked closely to coordinate New Brunswick Counseling Center’s adoption of SMART’s EHR software. Our team was excited to work with such a talented group of employees. Our first goal was to ease them through the initial transition. It’s always great to watch early hesitation over something new give way to a feeling of having made the right choice. Customer Relations Representative Sandy Silva noted, “It’s already clear that SMART Software is going to make their lives easier in a number of ways including administration, clinical, and medical.” More than one of the staff noted, “Thank you for making me believe in SMART.”

The SMART Team always looks forward to face-to-face interactions with customers in their own clinical setting. Each visit is a learning opportunity for both parties, a chance to meet new people and build new relationships, and show an ever-growing list of organizations how to use and benefit most from SMART’s EHR Software. We are thrilled to welcome New Brunswick Counseling Center to our family of SMART Software Partners.

About

New-Brunswick-Counseling-Center-Associates “The Mission of New Brunswick Counseling Center is to provide comprehensive, evidenced-based, integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Services are individualized and provided in an outpatient setting for prevention, early intervention, and treatment of people with mental health, substance use and/or co-occurring disorders. Our program provides access to substance abuse and mental health services addressing the bio-psycho-social consequences associated with substance use and dependence. Our treatment services are not restricted to person from a specific geographic area.

Founded in the early 1970’s, New Brunswick Counseling Center became a private, non-profit agency in 1982. Today, New Brunswick Counseling Center is fully staffed to treat people with mental health, substance use and/or co-occurring disorders.

New Brunswick Counseling Center is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). New Brunswick Counseling Center is funded and licensed by the NJ State Department of Human Services to provide outpatient treatment for substance use and mental health disorders and by Middlesex County Department of Human Services.”