The Rural Access to MAT in Pennsylvania (RAMP) Project will increase patient access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) and addiction specialty services by providing primary care physicians in rural Pennsylvania with the knowledge, skills, tools, and support to provide the highest quality MAT services to their patients who suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD).
The ProblemIn primary care settings, approximately 3 – 26% of patients prescribed opioid therapy for chronic pain have OUD.1 These patients may have developed this disorder as a result of pain management therapy and/or from obtaining opioids illicitly. In 2014, 60% of overdose deaths involved an opioid. Patients with OUD are at an increased risk for overdose with 33,000 of the overdose deaths in the United States related to heroin, prescription opioids, and fentanyl.2 Patients with OUD are also at an increased risk for developing other chronic medical conditions, such as HIV and hepatitis.3
In January 2018, Governor Tom Wolf signed a statewide disaster declaration in response to the Pennsylvania heroin and opioid epidemic. With the fourth highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the country, the need for expanded access to multiple modes of OUD prevention, intervention, and treatment services has never been greater.
Primary Care Providers Can Be Part of the Solution
By participating in Project RAMP, primary care providers can help fight the opioid overdose and OUD epidemic in Pennsylvania by providing prevention, intervention, and treatment services to patients within their practice.
Primary care providers can participate in the following ways:
- Identifying patients who may benefit from MAT services and refer these patients to a MAT provider or network for further assessment and linkage to substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental health/behavioral health treatment;
- Prescribing and administering naltrexone to eligible patients; and
- Prescribing and administering buprenorphine to eligible patients.
How Does Project RAMP Work?
When you join as a participating provider in Project RAMP, you will have access to a team of clinical and implementation experts who will develop a tailored training and implementation plan for you and your clinical staff. Training topics can include:
- How to screen patients for substance use disorder;
- How to motivate patients to pursue treatment using motivational interviewing techniques;
- How to prescribe and administer naltrexone to eligible patients; and
- How to prescribe and administer buprenorphine for OUD treatment (including connection to the required certification training).
Whether you decide to administer naltrexone, buprenorphine, or both, the Project RAMP team will break down the implementation model step by step from initial screening of patients to maintaining patients on medications.
Additionally, your staff will be connected to a local Care Management Team that will provide your office and patients with extra support. These care management teams can be Single County Authorities, Pennsylvania Centers of Excellence, or other entities. These teams will assist with administrative responsibilities, help connect patients to SUD/MH treatment and support services, and ensure patient compliance to medications and appointments.