CHA News Article

DHCS Provides Update on California Medication Assisted Treatment Expansion

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has completed its review of the competitive application process for distributing funds to narcotic treatment program (NTP) providers for opioid treatment, consistent with the federal grants issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – State Targeted Response Opioid Grant Program. The 21st Century Cures Act authorized $485 million in funding to be issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to address opioid abuse; California has been allocated $90 million over two years to assist with its Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion.

The project strategically focuses on expanding access to populations with limited MAT availability, including rural areas and American Indian and Native Alaskan tribal communities, and increasing statewide access to buprenorphine. The grant focuses on two projects: the California Hub and Spoke System (CA H&SS) and the Tribal MAT Project. DHCS received 62 applications from providers to operate a hub and spoke system and selected 19 to fund across the state. The total amount allocated for the CA H&SS is $78 million for the two-year period. The remaining grant funds will be used to fund the Tribal MAT Project and training conducted by UCLA and the California Society of Addiction Medicine. 

In addition, the project will conduct a statewide needs assessment and create a strategic plan. The CA H&SS will also participate in a learning collaborative, which aims to create an effective network with bi-directional patient movement and team care. UCLA will conduct an evaluation of project efforts, including required federal performance measures, in addition to other data elements. More information about the MAT Expansion project, along with a list of the funded CA H&SS applications, can be viewed on the DHCS website.