Case Study: Medication-Assisted Treatment
Overcoming Opioid Use Disorder
As healers, MCHC is focused on finding effective ways to help patients break free of the bondage of addiction and support them in achieving health and wholeness.
Unfortunately, opioid misuse and deaths in Lake and Mendocino Counties are among the highest in the state, and significantly above the national average.
Because of our leadership in opioid treatment, we were invited to join a collaborative funded by Partnership Healthplan of California and The Camden Group—one of the nation’s leading health advisory firms—to develop best practices around medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
Through our MAT Program, we combine medical care and behavioral health services along with intensive case management to support and educate our patients as they work to overcome their substance use disorders. We work with patients in groups and individually, monitoring everyone closely to help each patient stay on track.
As part of our chronic pain program, we thoroughly evaluate patients to make sure they have the right dose of the right medication for the right duration. We have been able to steadily decrease opiate dosing to safer levels for most patients: we decreased the percentage of our patients on high-dose opioids from 23.0% in August 2016 to 19.0% in March 2017.
To cement our gains and safeguard our communities, we are involved with the Safe Rx Lake County and Safe Rx Mendocino County coalitions, which establish prescribing guidelines and educate people about the dangers of opioid misuse.