Projects & Impact

AHP has built its business on applying best practices, many of which we have helped to shape, and real-world, hands-on knowledge to improving systems and business practices for our clients.

In all of the work that we do, we are guided by our mission to improve health and human services systems of care and business operations to help organizations and individuals reach their full potential.

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Select items in one or more of four categories to find relevant project types:

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Access to Recovery (ATR) [Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DPH/BSAS]

ATR is an innovative program that helps people in Massachusetts who are in early recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD) gain wider access to community services. ATR is making a difference, shown by a four-fold increase in employment among participants after they complete the program compared to when they enrolled. ATR graduates are better able to sustain recovery, find jobs, and maintain stable housing. 
 

ATR participants are also far less likely to fatally overdose while enrolled in the program, with rates at less than 1%.   

 

AHP has been running this federal grant from SAMHSA since 2010. Clients choose recovery support services that they think will help them most in their recovery.  
 

Examples of services include care coordination, basic critical needs support (clothing, IDs), public transportation passes, health and mental health supports, and employment training. ATR gives participants the dignity of self-sufficiency and the hope for a future in recovery.  

 

This project is being implemented in four Massachusetts cities: Springfield, Boston, Worcester, and New Bedford.  

  

For the relatively low cost of an average of $1,865 per participant for the 6-month program, ATR saves the Commonwealth money and saves lives. During one grant year alone, $4 million went back into the local economy by paying providers for the services provided to participants and by paying participants a work-study benefit when they attended job-training programs. 

 

The focus on employment through job readiness training, job search assistance, and occupational training is key to the program’s success. Job training is provided to participants with a recognition that they have complex needs and benefit from customized approaches to employment training. The ATR employment program, the Career Building Initiative (CBI), is a national model for successful job readiness and occupational training for people in early recovery from substance use disorders. 
 

About 90% of ATR participants have some criminal justice system involvement and often face barriers to securing employment. To accommodate this population, CBI includes training in jobs that employ people with a criminal justice background, including culinary/food services, commercial cleaning, construction, hotel/hospitality, truck driving, and office work. 

 

ATR coordinators are continuously trained on recovery planning, motivational interviewing, and engagement techniques, resulting in successful engagement with the participants throughout their time in the program. 

Colorado Office of Behavioral Health Needs Assessment

The Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) selected a team led by Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Mental Health Program to conduct a needs analysis and scan of existing and promising behavioral health models. AHP worked with the WICHE team, which included NASMHPD Research Institute (NRI), to complete 17 tasks. AHP assessed:
 
  • Olmstead v. L.C. legal decision considerations in the provision of state psychiatric beds;
  • integration of behavioral health and physical health care;
  • impact of marijuana legalization and prescription drug misuse on CO OBH service needs;
  • impact of state drug sentencing reform on CO OBH service needs; and
  • state approaches to support employment and housing for mental health consumers.
 
The work on tasks included a literature review, environmental scan, key informant interviews, focus groups, and analysis of existing state-level data. A report was prepared for each task and combined into a comprehensive report that included recommendations for Colorado’s OBH. 
 
Related resources and publication:
 

Evaluation of the Moms Do Care Project, Expanding Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder

AHP is the evaluator for a Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) grant to expand medical and behavioral health service systems capacity to engage and retain pregnant and postpartum women in integrated medication assisted treatment (MAT) and health care, and addiction and recovery support services. Funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) targeted capacity expansion portfolio, The Moms Do Care Project is being implemented in two communities (one rural and one urban) and focuses on the specific needs of pregnant women with opioid use disorders. Its overarching objective is to provide recovering mothers with increased access to MAT and with individualized services that support sustained recovery, choices about continuing medication, and efforts to maintain custody or contact with their children.

Expected outcomes include increased access and engagement in MAT concurrent with pre-and post-natal care; reduced illicit drug use; and improved health, recovery, and functioning status at the individual level. Systems level outcomes include an increased number of waivered buprenorphine prescribers; increased workforce understanding of opioid dependency in women specific to the needs of pregnant women; reduced negative attitudes of this population among medical providers; and improved integration of primary care and behavioral health services. AHP will assess outcomes through client interviews at three points in time, administrative treatment data, surveys of medical providers, and onsite visits with a range of key informants.

Redesigning the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Continuum of Care in Los Angeles County

AHP is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) to support the county in developing a state-required plan to opt into the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) Waiver for adult and adolescent populations. The waiver expands treatment and recovery services and creates a continuum of care for individuals diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD).

In partnership with the SAPC leadership and other key stakeholders, AHP is developing the financing formula and the organizational and staffing infrastructure that will support the DMC-ODS. To fully develop the architecture and financing recommendations, AHP is analyzing similar systems, studying rate setting methodologies, providing comprehensive data analysis, evaluating financial formulas, cross-walking ASAM levels of care with standardized code sets, and gathering information on managed care financial operations. AHP will also provide recommendations for a cost-effective training plan to develop the staffing capabilities and readiness for implementation of the new system.
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