A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering and Oregon Health &Science University will test whether clinician training and the use of organizational change strategies are sufficient for disseminating an evidence-based practice (EBP), or if changes to both organizational systems and payer policy result in greater EBP use. Demonstrating the role of payment policy as a driver in the adoption of evidence-based practices could provide a contribution to dissemination and implementation science. This study will employ an intervention that was developed through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Advancing Recovery (AR) program. In AR, payer/treatment organization partnerships in 12 states collaborated to remove systemic barriers to the adoption of EBPs such as medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse disorders. The resulting "AR Framework" of payer and organizational change strategies will be tested against its ability to increase the use of the addiction medication buprenorphine as compared to organizational change strategies alone. Buprenorphine is an EBP for treating people addicted to heroin or opioid-based pain medications for non-medical use. Buprenorphine has experienced low adoption rates and is not a standard part of addiction treatment. In Ohio, the location of the study, deaths to due to accidental opioid overdoses have increased by 304% over the past decade and surpassed auto accidents as the leading cause of accidental deaths in 2006. Ohio was selected for the study because of the public health significance of opioid abuse and because each county in Ohio acts as a stand-alone payer, offering 48 unique eligible payer environments. This trial will develop a deeper understanding of the role payers and treatment organizations play in implementing and disseminating EBPs and will focus on the public health issue of rising opioid abuse.

Public Health Relevance

This trial will study the impact of Ohio counties (payers) and addiction treatment organizations working in partnership to remove systemic barriers to adoption of the evidence-based practice (EBP) buprenorphine, a medication for opioid dependence. While various implementation strategies have targeted clinicians and/or treatment provider organizations, we believe this to be among the first controlled studies to systematically study the impact payer and provider strategies have on the implementation and dissemination of an EBP.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health Study Section (DIRH)
Program Officer
Ducharme, Lori
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University of Wisconsin Madison
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Quanbeck, Andrew R; Gustafson, David H; Marsch, Lisa A et al. (2014) Integrating addiction treatment into primary care using mobile health technology: protocol for an implementation research study. Implement Sci 9:65
Molfenter, Todd D (2014) Addiction treatment centers' progress in preparing for health care reform. J Subst Abuse Treat 46:158-64
Molfenter, Todd; Kim, Jee-Seon; Quanbeck, Andrew et al. (2013) Testing use of payers to facilitate evidence-based practice adoption: protocol for a cluster-randomized trial. Implement Sci 8:50