Summit workshops feature new NIATx projects

Submitted by: 07/03/2013 by Maureen Fitzgerald

This year’s Summit will include workshops related to two new NIATx learning collaboratives that launched in June. Each four-month project is funded by SAMHSA through JBS International.

The “Expanding Provider Capacity State Project” will assist addiction treatment payers in improving their provider networks’ capacity to treat more people newly eligible for behavioral healthcare treatment services. Participants include the states of Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, and Washington.

“One of the goals of the Expanding Provider Network Capacity Project is to align current addiction payment policy practice with emerging non-addiction payment sources to ensure that consumers receive the coverage they need,” says Todd Molfenter, NIATx Deputy Director, who leads both collaboratives.

The “Implementing Non-EHR Technology Collaborative” will explore the use of emerging communication technologies (virtual worlds, telehealth, A-CHESS, smartphones, and web portals) for increased access to and engagement in addiction treatment and recovery services. The purpose of the project is to document state-of-the art practices, common barriers, and anticipated needs in the implementation of these technologies. Participants include San Mateo County, CA; and the states of Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

 “States participating in the non-EHR technology learning collaborative appreciate that technology is going to have an increasing role in care and recovery and they’re eager to start using it to improve outcomes.”

The 75-minute workshops related to each learning collaborative will follow a “how-to” format, offering practical tips and strategies that attendees can apply in their own states and organizations. 

In “How to Prepare for the Changing Healthcare Environment: Perspectives from States,” representatives of states participating in the Expanding Provider Network Capacity Program will share information and lessons that can help other states get ready for change. While each state has its own treatment funding and delivery environment, they share similar “readiness” issues. What can states learn from each other in tackling these issues?

Smartphone applications, monitoring devices, and virtual counseling via avatars are just some of the Internet-based tools now emerging. In the “Current technology trends in behavioral healthcare” workshop, presenters will demonstrate how some of the latest technology tools are being used in the field. They’ll discuss how these tools offer new ways to help patients achieve and maintain recovery, and share tips for figuring out which ones work best for your agency.

To view the complete workshop schedule, visit

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