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SAMHSA Offers $142.9M in Grants for Substance Abuse Programs

The five-year grant program will help community organizations address substance abuse issues in high-risk minority populations.

Substance abuse and population health management

Source: Thinkstock

By Jennifer Bresnick

- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is currently taking applications for participation in a new grant program that will offer up to $142.9 million to population health management programs looking to address substance abuse in high risk patient groups.

The Targeted Capacity Expansion-HIV Program aims to place a specific focus on substance abuse treatment for racial and ethnic minority populations vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS.  

Up to 57 applicants will receive half a million dollars each to fund population health management programs that can identify and reach out to these patient groups.

“The purpose of this program is to increase engagement in care for racial and ethnic minority individuals with substance use disorders and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders who are at risk for HIV or HIV positive that receive HIV services/treatment,” SAMHSA said in its announcement.  

“The program also aims to contribute to the nation’s achievement of the 90-90-90 goals regarding HIV status and treatment.”

Public and private non-profit entities with established links to HIV services are eligible to apply, the agency said. 

These may include local government organizations, providers and community support groups serving Native American populations, and universities, colleges, and faith-based organizations conducting outreach and care at the local level.

The program is just one of many initiatives hoping to address the rapidly rising incidence of substance abuse, including opioid misuse and addiction.

Minority populations and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups often have less frequent and productive contact with the healthcare system and are exposed to social and environmental pressures that may lead to substance dependence.

Organizations are quickly turning to population health management strategies, including risk scoring for patients who may be prone to developing addictions, in order to curb the epidemic rates of injuries and deaths from uncontrolled use of dangerous substances.

In a blog post earlier this year, CMS urged providers and community stakeholders to engage in patient-centered care strategies to monitor those at risk for substance abuse and enact meaningful interventions – particularly the Medicare population, in their case.

“CMS wants beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to know what opioids are, the risk associated with their use and the role opioids may play in pain management,” officials wrote.  

“Our primary aim is to ensure that patients, their families, and caregivers have a better understanding of how to work with providers to identify treatment goals and successfully manage pain using current, safe, effective, and accessible treatments; for many patients this may not include an opioid.”

SAMHSA is not only targeting Medicare patients, but hopes to reach a number of different subpopulations through its five-year grant program.

Parties interested in applying for the funding opportunity must complete their submissions by April 21, 2017.  More information about the application process and requirements is available on the SAMHSA website.


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