Advantages of Medication Assisted Treatment and Integrated Care
There are many advantages of medication assisted treatment and integrated care in a behavioral health care environment. Lifeline Connections began this integration to its medication assisted treatment (MAT) patients within the last two years and has had incredible success!
Medication Assisted Treatment Effectiveness
- Improves patient survival
- Increases retention in treatment
- Decreases illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
- Increases patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
- Improves birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
Integrating MAT with other medical, social and community services provides the best platform to promote recovery from opioid dependence.
Phases and goals of MAT recovery
- Recovery initiation and stabilization: Introduce and educate on pharmacotherapy; eliminate use of illicit opioid use as well as other substances for at least 24 hours
- Early recovery and rehabilitation: Empower individuals to cope with life problems, medical needs and co-occurring disorders. In addition, helping patients cope with vocational and educational needs, family problems, legal issues and develop long term goals for education, employment and family reconciliation
- Recovery maintenance: In other words, the patient assumes the responsibility for their life
- Long-term sustained recovery: Continued responsibility for their life
Why integrate primary care into behavioral health?
- Improves patient outcomes and promote overall health within the general population
- Cost savings from lower emergency room visits and improved health outcomes. Therefore the patient and state saves money.
- Improves patient and physician’s experience
- Patient success in improving nutrition, physical activity and sense of well-being may sustain engagement in integrated care as well as improve its outcomes
- Provides a holistic, improved treatment plan to the patients
In the United Sates, many community health centers are funding integrated care in part through time-limited federal and state funding. However, in the long term integrated care viability will depend on securing adequate, predictable funding.