After Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, many Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) were unable to keep their doors open. This meant that over 1,000 patients who were served by these OTPs were unable to receive treatment and medications they needed; medications that mean the difference between relapse and sustained recovery.
In order to improve access and help ensure continuity of care for patients in OTPs, SAMHSA developed the Service Continuity Pilot (SCP) project as a component of SAMHSA’s Health Information Technology strategic initiative. This pilot project will promote patient service continuity by allowing patient dosing information to be exchanged between OTPs through health information exchanges (HIEs). Additional SCP project goals include:
- improving patient care through enhanced access to secure healthcare information in the event of service discontinuity, whatever the cause,
- aiding patient mobility between OTP facilities, and
- reducing the risk of poor outcomes due to treatment disruption.
Ensuring patient confidentiality and dignity is critical to the success of this project. The pilot will incorporate the Data Segmentation for Privacy (DS4P) standards that allow patients to share specific parts of their medical records, including OTP treatment information, with other OTP providers. Sensitive health data will be kept confidential in accordance with 42 CFR Part 2 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
On May 1, 2015, SAMHSA launched the SCP with a HIE based in South Bend, Indiana. This pilot site will receive funding to support the exchange of opioid health and dosing information between OTPs to leverage the use of HIE technology to support the exchange of opioid health and dosing information between OTPs. We look forward to sharing outcomes and lessons learned in this fall.
Source: Substance Abuse Mental Health and Services Administration – May 14, 2015