Health care has a vital role to play in combatting America’s opioid epidemic.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a treatment approach that combines behavioral health practices with medication management, primarily a FDA-approved opioid medication called Buprenorphine. Effectively integrating MAT into primary care can greatly curb the rise in opioid-related deaths in our communities, and the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration has made it a top priority to work with states to increase access to MAT services.

However, integrating new care models requires a long list of adaptive changes to your workflow, roles, billing, and data-sharing. You need to ensure your workplace culture supports addiction treatment. At the same time, your primary care teams need to learn new concepts and skills to engage patients in MAT.

In response to this pressing need, we launched the Treating Addiction in the Primary Care Safety Net (TAPC) program in partnership with the California Health Care Foundation. The TAPC program provides tailored technical assistance on implementing and sustaining MAT services to address opioid addiction in 25 federally qualified community health centers in California. Through this program, we provide in-person and virtual learning events, individualized team coaching, and site visits to health centers with best practices for providing MAT services.