MAYSVILLE, Ky., Jan. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PrimaryPlus (https://primaryplus.net) and PursueCare (https://www.pursuecare.com) today announced that they have partnered to launch an integrated telehealth addiction and behavioral health treatment model serving rural populations across PrimaryPlus' Kentucky footprint which includes seven health center locations.
Treatment begins with PrimaryPlus pre-screens and assessments by on-site medical staff and counselors. Patients in need of substance use disorder and psychiatric care are then referred to PursueCare's integrated telehealth treatment program.
The program brings a discrete and convenient treatment resource to communities that have been historically underserved and highly stigmatized when it comes to addiction and behavioral health care. According to health data released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kentucky Injury Prevention Research Center, while the Ohio River Valley saw some of the largest declines in overdose-related death rates from 2017 to 2018, the rates were still more than double what they were a decade ago, an overall increase of 128%.
PrimaryPlus' medical team helps to transition the patients smoothly into an initial on-demand and scheduled telehealth assessment on-site. PursueCare's peer-recovery and care coordination experts introduce the evidence-based Medication-Assisted Treatment ("MAT") model to the patients, conduct observed toxicology screening on camera, and then help get the individuals started in a personalized treatment plan that meets their needs. Care is continued at home through PursueCare's smart phone app, and medication can be shipped directly to the patient. PrimaryPlus routinely collaborates with PursueCare's treatment team to provide holistic on-site counseling and help ensure the patient's primary care needs are being met. In addition to telehealth MAT, patients also have ongoing access to psychiatric care for depression, anxiety, and other common behavioral health concerns.
A pilot of the program launched in fall of 2019 at PrimaryPlus' Maysville, KY location. The Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) has plans to establish similar programs at each of its seven centers across the Ohio Valley region early this year which includes Ashland, South Shore, Vanceburg, Tollesboro, Flemingsburg and Bracken County.
"The pilot project with PursueCare has been a seamless partnership. We are excited about the upcoming expansion of this program into our other health centers. The PursueCare approach is an effective model making a difference in the lives of our patients and our communities." states Jerry Ugrin, CEO of PrimaryPlus.
"We are aiming to change attitudes about addiction treatment, bring it out into the open as a healthcare issue, and make it available for everyone in a way that meets folks where they are," said Nick Mercadante, CEO and Founder of PursueCare. "Organizations like PrimaryPlus, that are part of the fabric of the communities they serve already, are in a unique position to help us bring a comprehensive program directly to the patient."
PrimaryPlus and PursueCare are accepting new patients. Patients can contact PrimaryPlus-Counseling Services located in Maysville at (606) 759-0490 for information on getting started in treatment.
PrimaryPlus is an FQHC founded in 1983 that serves much of the Ohio Valley Region through its seven community health centers. It offers a full range of qualitative health care services that include primary care, dental services, OBGYN, counseling, occupational medicine, minor emergency care, and on-site 340B pharmacy services. It utilizes a multi-disciplinary team of medical providers, case managers, educators, pharmacists and more to take a comprehensive approach to primary care and chronic disease management. They accept most commercial insurances, Medicare, and KY and OH Medicaid programs, with a sliding fee scale to assist families with an inability to pay for treatment.
PursueCare has rapidly established itself as the industry leader in technology-enabled tele-MAT programs for Opioid Use Disorder. The healthcare provider integrates medication, counseling, care coordination, assessments, toxicology screening, and mail-order recovery pharmacy services. It then delivers the services directly to patients through an iOS/Android smart phone app they can access from home. The company is launching collaborative programs in Kentucky for health systems, hospitals, primary care, community health centers, schools, and employers as part of a national growth strategy. Adopting its programs gives partners a turnkey transitional outpatient addiction treatment program without requiring additional internal resources or infrastructure. The services are billed to patient insurance and come at no cost to partners.