Pennsylvania is funding health care centers that take a holistic approach to drug addiction treatment.
Treatment for drug use often involves detoxing but rarely addresses the underlying causes of addiction, like behavioral health disorders. And that’s a problem, says Ted Dallas, Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
“If we don’t also treat the behavioral health issue at the same time we’re treating the substance use disorder, say they’re addicted to opiates or heroin, we’re going to limit our success,” Dallas said.
That’s why Pennsylvania is awarding $20.4 million in state and federal funding to health care centers, dubbed “Centers of Excellence,” that offer more holistic treatment.
“What the Centers of Excellence will do is help navigate the system for the folks who are there and make sure that they get all the treatment they need,” Dallas said.
The centers will have employees who coordinate care for patients with Medicaid and offer referrals to on-site and off-site services.
DHS estimates that about 10,000 patients who receive Medicaid will be treated at the centers. Patients who pay out of pocket or have private insurance can also seek services at a center.
The state announced the first round of health care centers in the program in July. There are a total of 45 located all around the state, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lancaster, and other cities.
Dallas says the programs will also provide data to the state on which interventions work and which don’t.