The federal government has awarded a $3 million grant focused on increasing accessibility to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in rural areas to Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services.
According to Governor Tom Wolf’s press release, 34% of Pennsylvanians who live in rural areas are considered medically underserved. This means they may not have the resources or treatment options necessary to help them overcome opioid dependence.
Following an increased media focus on opioid and heroin abuse, as well as a steady increase in opioid-related deaths in Pennsylvania, the grant will enable state efforts to increase awareness of addiction and opioid issues among primary care providers and build a full continuum of care for individuals participating in a MAT program.
The grant, entitled “Increasing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Rural Primary Care Practices”, will also allow the Department of Human Services to double the number of primary care providers who are able to provide Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) treatment through MAT.
Increasing the number of primary care providers who are able to provide MAT is crucial to making treatment more convenient and accessible for those who need it.
Additionally, the DHS will address existing barriers to receiving OUD care by:
Developing an implementation team that assists primary care providers in establishing MAT services in their practices
Offering continuing education to practices providing MAT through webinars with addiction experts
Providing teleconsultation services that allows physicians to speak with an on-call addiction specialist who can assist in building treatment plans
Making telepsychiatry services available to patients in practices participating in the grant
Medication-Assisted Treatment at Pyramid
“Increasing Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Rural Primary Care Practices” is a three-year grant that will begin on September 30, 2016.
Pyramid Healthcare currently provides MAT services at several locations, including:
We focus on treating the physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal, while using counseling programs to address emotional and mental symptoms and enable the individual to be successful on their journey to recovery.