Factors influencing organizations' use of NIATx: Dr. Tom Hilton responds

July 23, 2015

Tom Hilton is a retired NIH science officer and NIDA program official now in private practice. Tom has over 40 years of experience studying and conducting large-scale organizational change initiatives in publically-traded corporations, DOD and other large federal agencies, as well as general-medical and addiction health service organizations. In this blog post, Dr. Hilton comments on a recent study published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services Research that discussed the factors influencing use of NIATx. That study found that larger organizations with more administrative resources that treat more patients and participate in national associations and in NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network are more likely to use the NIATx model.
Organizations change in response to one of two things: being oriented towards continuous improvement, or crisis. Both are usually rooted in leadership.

Organizations in crisis suffer from emotional blindness caused by fear, panic, and role overload. As far as leaders of declining organizations can see, exploring changes in policies and practices is an impediment to immediate mission accomplishment. That lack of foresight too often leads to the organizational equivalent of a massive coronary that usually puts the organization out of business.
How does one overcome such thinking? The real challenge in change involves overcoming inertia. Usually that inertia emanates from the widely accepted values, beliefs, and practices that determine what and how work gets done (i.e., organizational culture). Some cultures facilitate productivity and quality outcomes. Other cultures unwittingly undermine it. So how can one determine if their culture is in need of peaks and tweaks or complete overhaul?

How to Integrate Addiction Services with Primary Care: The Integration Institute

July 20, 2015
Kathy Reynolds, MSW, ACSW 

Principal, Reynolds Associates

With all of the state Health Home amendments that include addiction treatment being approved by CMS under Section 2703 of the Affordable Care Act, the time has come for addiction treatment providers! In the new healthcare environment, specialty treatment providers can extend services to millions of people who now have health insurance that covers addiction treatment. Many of those clients will be seeking care in integrated health care settings.

As the ATTC White Paper Integrating Substance Use Disorders and Health Care Services in an Era of Health Reform points out, research shows that integrating addiction treatment and health care services improves patient outcomes. Yet, addiction treatment providers face a number of challenges in integrating services, including:

 “…needs to define and develop appropriate services, cultivate staff support, identify strategies for implementing change, train the SUD, mental health, and medical workforces, bring payers to the table, and transcend the currently bifurcated systems of SUD and mental health care. On the other hand, as integration moves forward, it creates opportunities for the current SUD workforce to work in new settings.”  
(ATTC White Paper, Integrating Substance Use Disorders, p. 6)

Technology Trends in Behavioral Health: Prepare for the Future at the National Frontier and Rural ATTC Summit

July 7, 2015

Nancy Roget, M.S., MFT, LADC
Project Director and Principal Investigator
National Frontier and Rural ATTC

Save the date for the the National Frontier and Rural ATTC's 3rd Annual Summit, September 2-3, 2015, in Austin, Texas!

Although behavioral health is considered an essential healthcare benefit, it is not always easily accessible to everyone who needs it, particularly in frontier and rural areas. This is especially true when talking about substance use disorder treatment and recovery, as access to these services is hindered due to workforce shortages and transportation issues. One way this gap in services is being bridged is by integrating the use of technologies into the behavioral health delivery system.