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ACTION Campaign Enlists 500 Agencies Nationwide to Combat Substance Abuse

In the four months since its October 2007 launch, the University of Wisconsin-Madison-based ACTION Campaign to combat substance abuse has already met its initial goal to enlist 500 agencies nationwide. Previous research by UW-Madison suggests that one small improvement in each of the 500 agencies is expected to make a difference in the lives of 55,000 people affected by substance abuse.

The ACTION Campaign short for Adopting Changes to Improve Outcomes Now is an unprecedented, cross-sector partnership among non-government organizations, foundations and government agencies. Among the partners are the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the Legal ACTION Center, the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx), the National Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare (NCCBH) and the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

The ACTION Campaign promotes the national adoption of proven practices for enhancing client access to care and their overall engagement in treatment. The campaign focuses on one of three outcomes:

  • Rapid access to treatment;
  • Increased engagement by those who are in treatment; and
  • A seamless transition from one stage of care to another.

Agencies that have already made the changes recommended by the campaign have experienced significant improvement in client satisfaction, staff retention and financial stability. Bill Rowan, program director for Outpatient/Intensive Outpatient Counseling Services at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Pottsville, Pa., was among the first to enroll his agency in the campaign.

"The ACTION Campaign allows me to connect with others in the field who face the same problems," adds Rowan. "It has shown us things that we can try to have the same kind of success we're hearing about from others."

Rowan and his staff have used the step-by-step instructions provided through the ACTION Web site and technical assistance calls to conduct a walk-through of their agency admission process and test a promising practice to reduce the waiting time between referrals and access to service.

"We are looking at this harder than we ever have in the past, and that's all due to getting new ideas from the ACTION tutorial calls every week," says Rowan. "We think that if we can reduce time to treatment, we will also see a positive effect on our bottom line."

Adds Rowan, "The ACTION Campaign has given my agency easy access to process improvement expertise and technical assistance. It's really opened the door for us."

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison, January 24, 2008

Profitable Partnerships in Disease Management: Community Collaborations that Enhance Care Access and Outcomes

This 35-page special report features case studies from two healthcare organizations that successfully collaborate with community resources to create more robust DM offerings, particularly for their Medicaid and Medicare members and patients.

Profitable Partnerships in Disease Management: Community Collaborations that Enhance Care Access and Outcomes is available from the Healthcare Intelligence Network for $115 by visiting our Online Bookstore or by calling toll-free (888) 446-3530.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the business of healthcare. It is distributed with the understanding that Healthcare Intelligence Network is not engaged in rendering legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be retained.

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