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)

To help the field overcome these challenges, the ATTC Network Coordinating Office, Reynolds Associates, and Westat are partnering to offer the Integration Institute, a year-long learning collaborative. Organizations participating in the Integration Institute will learn how to:
  • Develop an action plan for participating in Health Homes in their states
  • Identify primary care partners to help integrate care
  • Create an effective SBIRT program that works for both the primary care clinic and the addiction services provider
  • Figure out financing options for providing integrated care in addiction treatment organizations
  • Identify how addiction Health Homes may differ from Behavioral Health Homes and Mental Health Homes
That’s just some of what we’ll cover. In addition, members of the learning collaborative will have the chance to connect with other organizations across the country that are working on the same goal. The learning collaborative structure encourages participants to share challenges and success stories and learn from each other.

Don't miss this exciting opportunity! The orientation webinar and electronic application are available on the Integration Institute page on the ATTC Network website.  There’s no application fee and the electronic application is easy to complete and submit. (Deadline: July 31, 2015.) Participation is limited to 20 organizations, so apply sooner rather than later!

Have additional questions about The Integration Institute? Email Kathy Reynolds at or Kim Johnson at

Kathleen Reynolds MSW, ACSW, has more than 30 years' experience in mental health and addictions treatment and more than 15 years' experience in the bi-directional integration of behavioral health and primary care. Ms. Reynolds is currently the principle in ReynoldsAssociates, a consulting firm based in Ypsilanti, MI. Ms. Reynolds was the first director of the SAMHSA/HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions - the first national training and technical assistance center for integration in the country - and the Vice President for Health Integration and Wellness for the National Council for Community Behavioral Health. Ms. Reynolds was the Director of the Washtenaw Community Health Organization (WCHO), a nationally recognized organization in the integration of behavioral health and primary care services for nine years, and has direct experience implementing the services that are provided through her consultations. The WCHO included a community mental health services program, a substance abuse coordinating agency, and primary health care capitation dollars for Medicaid and indigent consumers.

No comments:

Post a Comment