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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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.

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

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts subcontracted AHP to run the federally-funded MA-Access to Recovery (MA-ATR), which is a program designed to give people with substance use disorders wider access to community services that help them recover. Clients choose recovery support services they think will help them most in their recovery by using vouchers they are given to secure these services. MA-ATR’s goal is to enroll over 6,000 individuals within a three-year period.
 
This project is being implemented in the Greater Springfield and Greater Boston areas where there are high incidences of substance use. AHP’s accomplishments in this contract are summarized below.
 
  • Through MA-ATR, AHP created an innovative, nationally acclaimed program called the Career Building Initiative (CBI), designed to address the importance of employment to recovery. Providers were recruited that could provide different kinds of job training and job readiness programs. In addition, in order to eliminate the financial hardships of entering training instead of receiving income from a job, ATR gives every client a work-study benefit of $8 per hour for attendance.
  • AHP developed a provider network integrating traditional substance use providers with non-traditional recovery support supports and faith-based and community agencies.
  • Through MA-ATR, AHP created a client-centered system of care by providing clients with choice of services and providers.
  • AHP customized a curriculum to train eight ATR coordinators on effective engagement techniques, which is a critical skill needed to enroll the target number of clients within the three-year period. ATR coordinators learned follow up techniques such as finding individuals who are experiencing homelessness or are transient.
 
Related resources and publications:
 

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.