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Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net

Today, America faces an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths—and healthcare has a vital role to play in this fight.

Increasing access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is one of the three top federal health priorities, and state and local groups are focused on slowing opioid deaths in their communities. The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) supports these efforts through a variety of programs and publications.

In addition to funding, integrating new care models requires a long list of adaptive changes, from practical details of workflow, roles, billing, and data-sharing, to the education and engagement of providers and staff to ensure a workplace culture that supports addiction treatment. Primary care providers need to learn new concepts and skills to engage patients in MAT.

In 2016 the Health Resources and Services Administration granted Substance Abuse Service Expansion Awards (SASE) to 36 California health centers to take on these changes. A survey conducted by the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) found that most California SASE awardees have either limited experience or no experience providing addiction treatment. The survey respondents indicated that customized technical assistance would be helpful and welcome.

In response to this request for support, the Center for Care Innovations, in partnership with the California Health Care Foundation, is offering the Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net (TAPC) program. The TAPC program provides tailored technical assistance on addiction treatment and change management topics to a select group of the California health centers that are recipients of the 2016 HRSA SASE awards.


Alameda Health System/Healthcare for the Homeless Oakland CA
Aria Community Health Center Lemoore CA
Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc. Brawley CA
Contra Costa Health Services Department Martinez CA
El Dorado Community Health Center Placerville CA
Elica Health Centers Sacramento CA
Family Health Centers of San diego San Diego CA
Health Services Agency, County of Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA
La Maestra Family Clinic, Inc. San Diego CA
LifeLong Medical Care Berkeley CA
Livingston community Health Livingston CA
Los Angeles Christian Health Centers Los Angeles CA
Marin City Health & Wellness Center Marin City CA
Neighborhood Healthcare Escondido CA
Omni Family Health Bakersfield CA
Petaluma Health Center, Inc., Petaluma CA
Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Santa Barbara CA
Santa Rosa Community Health Centers Santa Rosa CA
Serve the People - Community Health Center Santa Ana CA
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center Los Angeles CA
Venice Family Clinic Venice CA
Vista Community Clinic Vista CA
West County Health Centers Guerneville CA
Western Sierra Medical Clinic Grass Valley CA

Programs Details

Download the Invitation to Participate for a full program description. The following technical assistance opportunities being offered to health center participants in this program:

  1. Project ECHO for Buprenorphine offered by the Weitzman Institute — Virtual gathering that provides access to peers and experts in the field and the opportunity to review difficult cases and work through challenges together regarding Buprenorphine administration.
  2. Coaching by experts— Tailored coaching support (mostly phone-based, some in-person) to help teams integrate substance use treatment/MAT into primary care.
  3. Monthly webinars led by California Society of Addiction Medicine— Series of 12 monthly webinars on specific topics about implementing MAT in primary care.
  4. In-person learning sessions — Share best practices and challenges with each other and network with your peers who are doing the same work on MAT at their organizations.
  5. Reimbursement for DATA 2000 Waiver Trainings — Organizations identify and participate in their preferred DATA 2000 waiver training.
  6. Site visits — Experience an effective MAT program in action! Day long site visit to California health centers with exemplary MAT programs.