Medication-Assisted Treatment and Recovery Best Practice Guide

Research Brief | August 30, 2019 | Lena Marceno, MS and Mariah Black-Watson, MSA

What are current best practices in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services in Michigan, and what conditions are needed to help ensure MAT services are successful? Altarum sought to answer these questions and more in this report commissioned by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

We based our findings on interviews with 10 key provider stakeholders across Michigan—from medical providers to social services professionals—asking questions such as Do you face any challenges regarding insurance reimbursement for MAT services? What is working well about the MAT services you currently offer?

Six major themes emerged from our interviews, and we discuss them in this report. They can be used to better understand the medication-assisted treatment landscape in Michigan, and the best practices and conditions associated with the most successful MAT programs, regardless of location.

Below are a few key takeaways from the report:

Define rules and expectations for the patient and the provider. Providers indicated that patients are more likely to be happy with the recovery process and motivated to continue treatment when the patient clearly understands the impact that medication-assisted treatment will have on their lives. 

Address institutionalized stigma, a significant barrier to delivering MAT. Providers stated that institutionalized stigma is the main reason that providers who have been waivered are not currently prescribing and/or the main reason many providers are not interested in pursuing waiver training. Providers who are overcoming this challenge are taking responsibility for correcting instances of stigma or stigmatizing language in their organization. 

Integrate substance use disorder treatment into medical education. Providers emphasized the importance of following the Medical Education Model. Some suggested the state's medical schools should be required to include addiction medicine in the curriculum. They also observed a lack of addiction specialists in addiction leadership, and that having more involved in advocacy would be beneficial.

Want to learn more? Read the full report: Medication-Assisted Treatment and Recovery Best Practice Guide 

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