CommonSpirit Health Adopts Telehealth Services for Opioid Treatment

CHICAGO (June 3, 2021) — CommonSpirit Health has launched a clinical partnership with BrightHeart Health to offer telehealth services for medication-assisted treatment (TeleMAT) for patients with opioid use disorder.

“Our patients with addiction deserve compassionate care, and we’re committed to providing the life-saving, evidence-based treatment they need,” said Julian Mitton, MD, MPH, director of population health innovation and policy at CommonSpirit. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying constellation of clinical risk, social isolation, and economic stress has had a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable patients, particularly patients struggling to manage addiction. Clearly, many of the communities we serve are in need of a telehealth resource.”

Available in inpatient, outpatient, or emergency room settings, teleMAT does not replace existing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, but provides easy access ‒ either virtually or over the phone ‒ to low-threshold, evidence-based medication therapy and behavioral health treatment for patients with opioid use disorder. Initially, TeleMAT services will launch in six regions across CommonSpirit’s 21-state footprint.

Telehealth services for opioid use disorder are especially impactful for patients who live in rural or difficult to reach areas without providers who offer MAT; as well as facilities that need access to more addiction-recovery referral sites and MAT providers licensed to prescribe life-saving buprenorphine.

“CommonSpirit is committed to improving health equity in all the communities we serve,” said Alisahah Cole, MD, vice president of population health at CommonSpirit. “TeleMAT can help address equity concerns by providing culturally competent, evidence-based care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Bright Heart Health is a telehealth referral provider with an array of interdisciplinary supportive services, including counseling and medication treatment, and uses an evidence-based and harm reduction approach to help patients manage addiction to opioids, alcohol, and other substances.

“We are very pleased to provide a telemedicine option for our patients with opioid use disorder through this partnership with Bright Heart Health’s TeleMAT program,” said Paul Rains, senior vice president of behavioral health at CommonSpirit. “We know that if patients have a convenient way to access treatment, we can provide more support services, make more referrals for recovery, and ultimately save more lives.”

About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With its national office in Chicago and a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 139 hospitals and more than 1,000 care sites across 21 states. Learn more at commonspirit.org.

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