HANCOCK COUNTY — A nonprofit health plan has teamed up with a treatment provider to bring a program straight to those battling addiction.
The initiative aims to help people with substance use disorder as they navigate their lives in their own environments. It recently launched in central Indiana for eligible Medicaid members in 25 counties, including Hancock County.
Making up the partnership is CareSource, a national nonprofit health plan headquartered in Dayton, Ohio; and Wayspring, a Nashville, Tennessee-based provider of coordination and treatment services for those with substance use disorder.
Steve Smitherman, president of CareSource Indiana, said the substance use disorder home program resulting from the collaboration is the first of its kind in the country.
“The goal is to help provide wrap-around support for these individuals,” said Troy Mashburn, vice president of market operations for Wayspring. “It can often be difficult to find the right treatment options, navigate having multiple different care providers; And it can also be challenging, especially in the early stages of the recovery process, to really go through all the transitions that happen in your daily life. Sometimes it’s not just about medical treatment or behavioral health treatment, it’s also about some of the daily tasks of what it means to transition from one life to a new daily reality.”
Wayspring often interacts with individuals as they’re transitioning from a residential treatment program, Mashburn said, where they’ve spent several weeks receiving comprehensive care for their substance use disorder.
“When they transition out of that residential setting, there’s so many new things to navigate,” he said, many of which the individual has been guided toward in their treatment plan.
Wayspring’s team travels to residential treatment sites to meet with individuals before they leave the facility and head back into the community.
Team members work with treatment providers to understand individuals’ plans when they leave the site, and start to develop preparations for helping them close any gaps they may have. Those gaps could include tasks like finding somewhere to live, making medical appointments and securing transportation.
“CareSource has a wealth of resources and benefits that can help make those connections for them,” Mashburn said. “We can help them take full advantage of the benefits that CareSource provides to them as their insurer.”
Wayspring checks in with those in the substance use disorder home program about two to three times a week during the first 30 days.
“We’d be meeting with them in the community, in person,” Mashburn said. “We may go grab coffee to see how things are going. We may help make sure they have the right support network through friends and family beyond what they had in the past, and really just trying to provide a high-touch support model as they’re going through really major life challenges that can be overwhelming on a day-to-day basis.”
Smitherman said CareSource makes some of the referrals for members in residential treatment facilities to the home program.
One doesn’t have to be transitioning from a residential facility to benefit from the program, however. Mashburn said Wayspring can connect members and individuals in the community battling substance use disorder who may not actively be seeking treatment.
“They may have instances where they’re going into the emergency department to work through some medical issues, or they’ve gone through visits to the hospital to also work through medical issues, but they may not be getting the health behavioral treatment that they may need to help work through the addiction,” he said. “In those cases we also have a team that can conduct outreach and make a warm connection and offer to help them navigate and find access to care.”
There’s an excellent provider community throughout Indiana as well as in the Greenfield and broader Indianapolis areas, Mashburn said, but it can still be challenging for individuals to access care for substance use disorder. Wayspring can help them find a place with capacity, he continued, adding the provider also has a virtual clinic to offer access to care quickly for those without immediate access to care.
Mashburn said the home program has supported two Greenfield residents already, and about 85 members have been identified with diagnosed substance use disorder in Hancock County that Wayspring believes would benefit from the service.
More information is available at wayspring.com and caresource.com.
The program marks a continuation of mental health-focused efforts in Hancock County. County government and Healthy 365, Hancock Regional Hospital’s community health arm, continue to work on an initiative that aims to help those making their way through the justice system and reduce the challenges they may face toward accessing mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Also part of those efforts are preparations for a mobile response team that would respond to mental health crises in the community.