SAMHSA Awards $6.7 Million in Grants to States to Strengthen Substance Abuse Treatment Access/Retention

Submitted by: 09/28/2006

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced the award of seven cooperative agreements totaling $6.7 million over 3 years under the Strengthening Treatment Access and Retention – State Implementation (STAR-SI) program to help states identify and implement methods to enhance individual access to and retention in community-based outpatient substance abuse treatment programs.  The grants were announced during the presentation by H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Director of  SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, during the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) Annual Conference in Burbank, California. 

Outpatient treatment facilities account for 80 percent of all substance abuse treatment programs in the United States, serving 2.33 million clients in 2004, according to SAMHSA’s latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health.   However, the same survey found that as many as 1.2 million people reported needing substance abuse treatment and reported they did not get it.

“Outpatient treatment providers face tremendous challenges in their efforts to serve populations in need of treatment,” said Assistant Surgeon General Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H., Acting Deputy Administrator for SAMHSA.States are in a unique position to improve access to care and continuity of care by working with community-based providers to set systems in place that eliminate systems barriers, streamline administrative procedures, provide incentives and assist provider networks in their efforts to improve access and retention performance outcomes.  That is what the STAR-SI program is all about.”  

SAMHSA’s STAR-SI program builds on the work of the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment, a joint initiative by SAMHSA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which tested process improvement methods to improve substance abuse treatment access and retention.  Grant recipients will use tested process improvement methods to improve both state and treatment program organizational processes that affect client access to and retention in outpatient substance abuse treatment services.   The grants will also help develop provider and payer capacity to implement process improvement methods through the operation of peer-to-peer learning networks.  Grantees will assess progress and performance success using a performance management system.

The seven awards are for up to $325,000 in the first year and are renewable for two additional years. The total funding for 2006 is $2,237,636. Continuation of these awards is subject to both availability of funds and progress achieved by awardees.

Grants were awarded to:

Florida State Department of Children and Families, Tallahassee -- $325,000 for the first year  to implement and evaluate process improvements in the provision of outpatient substance abuse treatment, undertaken in collaboration by the department in collaboration with the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, four provider networks, and six provider agencies.

Illinois State Department of Human Services, Chicago -- $325,000 in the first year to work with two provider networks – one Chicago-based and one serving rural clients – to  improve rates of client access to and retention in publicly funded substance abuse outpatient treatment programs in Illinois. 

Iowa State Department of Public Health, Des Moines -- $324,896 in the first year to develop an infrastructure based on a peer-learning network that will systematically address identified statewide gaps and issues in outpatient substance abuse treatment that focuses on strengthening individual agency capacity to implement the activities; assisting agencies in implementing process improvement techniques; and sustaining the process improvement activities over time.

Maine State Department of Health and Human Services, Augusta -- $325,000 in the first year both to work at the state level on process improvement and, in collaboration with provider organizations, to expand the use of the Rapid Cycle of Change process improvement process to enhance client access and retention in Maine’s outpatient substance abuse treatment system.

Ohio State Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, Columbus -- $325,000 in the first year to promote state-level implementation and continuous quality improvement and evaluation of research-based process improvement activities, undertaken in partnership with local substance abuse treatment providers, to ensure accessible, effective treatment services for Ohio citizens.

South Carolina State Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Columbia -- $324,996 in the first year to support Quality Moves, designed to reach out through all 33 local substance abuse treatment providers to increase access and retention; remove barriers to cost-efficient effective treatment; and reengineer systems to increase reduce wait times for treatment.

Wisconsin State Department of Health and Family Services, Madison -- $287,744 in the first year to implement  process improvement projects in at least 15 outpatient substance abuse treatment providers  having at least 150 admissions, to improve access to and retention in services. At the state level, the Department will work to reduce fiscal, regulatory, and other barriers to implement provider process improvement projects, thereby increasing access to and retention in services.


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