Passport collaborates with other Safety Net Health Plans to help lower risk for Substance Use Disorders among youth

Passport Health Plan is one of seven Safety Net Health Plans from around the country that have committed to a joint three-year learning project that will help increase the identification of youth who are at risk for substance use disorders.

The project, led by the Center for Health Care Strategies in partnership with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), will make extensive use of the SBIRT model, which stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment.

SBIRT is an evidence-based approach for identifying patients who are at risk for abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and it is intended to identify not only patients who have substance use disorders but also those who are at high risk for developing such a disorder and reducing their level of risk.

The collaborative, made possible by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, consists of seven health plans, each of which will pilot an SBIRT training project aimed at raising the awareness of substance use disorders among youth, and fortify these providers’ abilities to screen, intervene, and refer to treatment as needed.

The project that Passport has developed for the effort involves expanding the number of adolescents screened annually for substance use disorder, since many teens begin experimenting with substances during adolescence. Passport will develop regional trainings for providers to teach them how to implement SBIRT, and will also develop webinars for providers to complete training in their home communities, complete with continuing education for providers who participate in the training. Passport will also work with our providers to break down any barriers to coordinating care for our members who endorse positive symptoms.

“Passport recognizes that substance use disorders are a huge public health crisis in the Commonwealth,” said Elizabeth W. McKune, Ed.D., Director of Behavioral Health for Passport Health Plan. “We are working closely with our providers and the Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services to increase the number of adolescents screened for potential problems with substances and teach them where they can go should they begin having problems with substances in the future.”

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