AzHeC Sole Recipient of National SAMHSA Funding

Published On: May 25, 2016

Opioid Treatment Program Service Continuity Project II

Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC) has been selected as the sole recipient of funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Opioid Treatment Program Service Continuity Project II (OTP SCP II). OTP SCP II will provide AzHeC $387,000 to build on the lessons learned from the 2015 OTP SCP I, the initial pilot program that addressed unplanned OTP service disruption following events like natural disasters or manmade disasters, as well as planned OTP service disruptions due to patient travel or relocation. The project will promote patient service continuity by allowing patient dosing and necessary demographic information to be exchanged between OTPs through a health information exchange (HIE), which is an important part of SAMHSA’s Health Information Technology strategic initiative.

OTP SCP II is a pilot project that aligns well with AzHeC’s recently announced  integrated HIE strategy, according to Melissa Kotrys, CEO of AzHeC. “Our Board voted in January to go forward with a statewide strategy to integrate physical and behavioral health information into Arizona’s statewide HIE, operated by AzHeC,” Kotrys said. “This project is an excellent opportunity to build on that strategy and work directly with critical behavioral health care providers in our community.”

AzHeC will complete the project in collaboration with three behavioral health organizations – Valle del Sol, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services and Maricopa County Correctional Health Services – who together operate ten OTPs. These providers will use the grant funding to reduce the risk of poor outcomes due to treatment disruption in their communities. They will develop a process for transferring secure health information between their OTPs via the HIE and will provide training and education on their findings.

SAMHSA offered congratulations to AzHeC and commended them for their dedication and commitment to using HIE technology to provide innovative solutions to behavioral healthcare problems. SAMHSA added that they look forward to sharing outcomes and lessons learned this fall.

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