Southcentral Foundation has implemented a comprehensive approach to handling opioids and opioid addiction based on its system of relationship-based care and integrated behavioral health. This approach to substance use disorders allows providers to more effectively work with customer-owners who may be experiencing challenges while ensuring needed medications are still provided and customer-owners receive the support they need.
SCF’s Nuka System of Care integrates behavioral health providers in SCF’s primary care clinics to support holistic chronic pain management and effective opioid prescriptions. Behavioral health consultants have multiple roles associated with opioid prescription and treatment, including working with primary care providers and customer-owners in establishing wellness care plans. The plans assist providers and customer-owners in working together to achieve the customer-owner’s health goals. Although wellness care plans can be used for many different purposes, one important function is to ensure that customer-owners are supported by the health care system while they are being treated for chronic pain. Positive relationships and access to care support customer-owners and helps to reduce opioid dependency.
For those customer-owners who find themselves struggling with opioid dependency, SCF has several options to help them recover. Primary care providers, behavioral health consultants, and the Four Directions Outpatient Treatment Center are all involved in providing integrated health care. Customer-owners can fluidly move between services depending on their needs. Once treatment has begun, depending on need and circumstance, customer-owners may be treated in an intensive outpatient program or integrated primary care setting. Through provider training and support, SCF has managed to increase the number of primary care providers approved for medication-assisted treatment — a type of treatment that has proven effective for some customer-owners. The percent of providers approved to provide this type of treatment has risen from approximately 10 percent to over 70 percent, making this treatment available to more customer-owners who might need it.
SCF is committed to helping customer-owners on their journey toward wellness, and using the strong relationships we build with customer-owners to achieve this goal.