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Challenges and Opportunities for Integrating Preventive Substance-Use-Care Services in Primary Care Through the Affordable Care Act.

Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2014;25(1 suppl):36-45.

Udi E. Ghitza, PhD, Betty Tai, PhD (both from Center for the Clinical Trials Network, NIDA).

Undertreated or untreated substance use disorders (SUD) remain a pervasive, medically-harmful public health problem in the United States, particularly in medically underserved and low-income populations lacking access to appropriate treatment. The need for greater access to SUD treatment was expressed as policy in the Final Rule on standards related to essential health benefits, required to be covered through the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchanges. SUD treatment services have been included as an essential health benefit, in a manner that complies with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008. Consequently, with the ACA, a vast expansion of SUD-care services in primary care is looming.

NIDA's Center for the Clinical Trials Network, along with other partners, is supporting the development, validity and reliability testing, and electronic specification of a standardized and science-based composite clinical quality measure/performance measure that would be used for combined screening and intervention for substance abuse. This commentary discusses additional challenges and other opportunities under the ACA for equipping health care professionals with appropriate workforce training, infrastructure, and resources to support and guide science-based Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for SUD in primary care. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2014)

Keywords: Affordable Care Act (ACA) | Electronic health records (EHR) | Integrated medical and behavioral health care | Screening and assessment instruments | Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) | Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (journal)

Document No: 1049, PMID: 24583486, PMCID: PMC3984935.

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 3/5/2014.

Ghitza, Udi E. search mail
Tai, Betty search mail

Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 5/2014 --