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News from The Hilltop Institute at UMBC

Hilltop Releases Report on Coordination of Care for Persons
with Substance Use Disorders under the Affordable Care Act

The Hilltop Institute has released a report entitled Coordination of Care for Persons with Substance Use Disorders under the Affordable Care Act: Opportunities and Challenges. The report, authored by Hilltop Senior Research Analyst Michael T. Abrams, MPH, explores the opportunities and challenges pertaining to the enhanced integration/coordination of substance use disorder (SUD) treatments into the publicly financed health care delivery system.

After reviewing the ACA and recent peer-reviewed or reputable web-based literature, the author found that while SUDs are sometimes the focus of current health care coordination efforts that include medical homes, most coordination of care activities are centered in the primary care domain or—much less frequently—on specialty mental health care, with little or no mention of SUDs. Still, the emerging and ACA-promoted coordination of health care enterprise affords real opportunities to improve SUD treatment nationally via primary care- and specialty care-based venues, including clinics that specialize in SUD treatments (e.g., methadone clinics).

Whatever the chosen venue, coordination of care activities and concepts include many common themes that are typically cross-cutting. Accordingly, this new report puts forth information regarding components of interventions that should be considered in the design, ongoing operation, and evaluation phases of most coordination of care efforts. It includes definitions, as well as descriptions of funding programs, clinical programs, frameworks, and other state- and federal-level initiatives. Although much of the information is relevant to any coordination of care effort across the medical spectrum, the report pays particular attention to efforts germane to behavioral health disorders—especially to SUDs affecting Medicaid clients in states like Maryland.

To learn more about the study, contact Michael T. Abrams, MPH.


The Hilltop Institute at UMBC is a non-partisan health research organization—with an expertise in Medicaid and in improving publicly financed health care systems—dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations. Hilltop conducts research, analysis, and evaluations on behalf of government agencies, foundations, and nonprofit organizations at the national, state, and local levels. Hilltop is committed to addressing complex issues through informed, objective, and innovative research and analysis.

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