Rhode Island health providers launch telemedicine services for substance use disorder treatment

Cranston, R.I.-based CODAC Behavioral Healthcare and Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket, R.I., are partnering on telemedicine services that will increase substance use disorder patients' access to medication-assisted treatment, Warwick Post reports.

Under the new program, Thundermist Health Center patients will be able to receive an initial assessment for MAT at the hospital through their primary care physician or a nurse care manager. After the assessment, the patient and provider will use telemedicine technology to videoconference with a provider from CODAC, a nonprofit behavioral healthcare clinic that specializes in opioid use disorder treatment, and start a treatment plan. Patients are eligible to receive treatment the same day.

"We need to respond as soon as a patient says they want treatment," Thundermist Health Center President and CEO Jeanne LaChance told Warwick Post. "This program ensures we're providing patients with treatment when they tell us they're ready."

CODAC and Thundermist also partnered with the Rhode Island Department of Health on the program, which received funding toward the video conferencing equipment and necessary administrative infrastructure from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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