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Supporting Health Centers to Respond to the Opioid Crisis: Resources to Expand Screening, Treatment, and Prevention Services In Communities

HRSA developed resources dedicated to helping health centers provide substance use disorder and prevention services to address the opioid crisis in primary care settings.

To support health centers across the nation in meeting the challenges of responding to the opioid crisis and providing substance abuse disorder (SUD) services, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) published a special edition of the Primary Health Care Digest and a brand new opioid webpage highlighting the various ways HRSA is addressing the opioid crisis earlier this year.

Health centers are critical community partners in responding to the opioid crisis and these online resources provide a convenient and comprehensive list of resources that can help health center staff join in our national response to the opioid crisis and expand their work to meet the SUD and prevention needs of their patients.

Health centers provide patient-centered care that integrates behavioral health and primary care, often serving as a health home for low-income uninsured and underinsured individuals impacted by the opioid crisis. By providing primary-care based SUD services, including medication assisted treatment (MAT) and pain management alongside other prevention services such as recommended vaccinations and screenings for HIV and viral hepatitis, health centers can serve as key partners in addressing both the opioid crisis and its infectious disease consequences.

Resources Available to Health Centers

To support the work of health centers, HRSA compiled the following resources:

  • Pivotal reports and guidelines. These include CDC’s Guideline for Prescription Opioids for Chronic Pain, SAMHSA’s Medications for Opioid Use Disorder, and The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Fact sheets, mobile apps, checklist for prescribing, and a pocket guide are also available for download.
  • Models of care. Reports and technical briefs that provide information to assist health centers address SUD. These include a brief from AHRQ detailing medication-assisted treatment models of care delivery in primary care; a brief detailing primary care models of addiction services; and an AHRQ brief that discusses implementation of MAT for opioid use disorder in rural settings.
  • Technical assistance and training. This section provides toolkits and websites that provide resources to assist health centers treat SUD and opioid use disorder; medication-assisted treatment TA and Training; Pain Management TA and Training; and Pregnant Women and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome TA and training.
  • Mentoring opportunities. Mentoring opportunities for primary care providers are offered via virtual mentoring, expert clinical advice via the UCSF’s Substance Abuse Warmline; and a SAMHSA-sponsored coaching and mentoring program.
  • Information about confidentiality for SUD patient records. SAMHSA provides a summary of the federal law (42 CFR Part 2) governing confidentiality for people seeking treatment for SUD from federally assisted programs, links to rule-making webinars, and listening session transcripts.
  • Telehealth resources. HRSA offers regional Telehealth Resource Centers to provide assistance, education, and information to organizations and individuals who provide health care at a distance. Also included is the Center for Connected Health policy, which serves as a resource for telehealth state laws and policy.
  • Workforce recruitment assistance. HRSA provides resources to assist health centers recruit and retain healthcare providers, including education grants, a recruitment tool and information about HRSA national cooperative agreements that support workforce enhancement.

For the full list of health center resources, please visit the special edition digest.

To find out more about HRSA’s overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis, visit the HRSA opioid webpage.

A new @HRSAgov opioid webpage and special edition of the Primary Health Care Digest highlights the various ways HRSA is addressing the #opioidcrisis. Find out more via @HHS_ViralHep: https://go.usa.gov/xP4yw

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