Health Care Reform and Integration of SUD Treatment with
Primary Care (2010-2012)

Evaluation, Training, and Technical Assistance
for Substance Use Disorder Services Integration

Darren Urada, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Richard Rawson, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Valerie Antonini, MPH, Project Director

The purpose of this project is to provide evaluation, training, and technical assistance (ETTA) for substance use service integration activities within the health care system of California. From 2012 to 2015, ISAP will provide the following:

  1. Examine how ongoing policy changes are affecting who receives substance use disorders (SUDs) treatment and how access, services, costs, and quality of care are being affected. Make recommendations to improve policies, practices, and data quality.
  2. Refine program performance and patient outcome measures.
  3. Collect and disseminate cutting-edge information on the integration of SUD services with mental health and primary care services.
  4. Recommend strategic planning principles to guide the development of an integrated drug treatment delivery system in California in the context of health care reform.
  5. Coordinate and facilitate an interactive forum (Learning Collaborative) with county administrators and other key stakeholders to discuss SUD integration.
  6. Conduct Case Study/Pilot Evaluations.
  7. Provide training at the county level on strategies to prepare for health care reform.
  8. Provide technical assistance at the county level to facilitate integration following the implementation of major health care reforms in 2014.

For more information, please visit

Evaluation, Training, and Technical Assistance for Substance Use Disorder Services Integration was funded by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, contract 12-00117, from July 2012 to June 2015.

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Integration of Substance Use Disorder Treatment
with Primary Care in Preparation for Health Care Reform

Darren Urada, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Cheryl Teruya, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

Research suggests that providing substance use disorder (SUD) services in health care settings is feasible, can reach many more individuals than reliance on community-based specialty SUD treatment alone, promises better outcomes for patients, and can result in reduced overall health care utilization costs.  Furthermore, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, mental health and SUD treatment are expected to become more closely integrated with each other and with primary care. However, little data on the current state of integration currently exists.  We conducted a small study targeting federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) using online surveys and qualitative interviews to assess SUD integration with primary care, mental health, and HIV/AIDS services in California primary care settings. Results: Half of the organizations reported collaboration between SUD and primary care, but the other half reported only minimal or basic levels of integration.  In general, SUD services are not as well integrated with primary care as mental health services are, are rated as less effective than mental health services, and are separated from primary care services physically and temporally.  The difference in effectiveness appears to be due to provider training, not in attitudes toward SUD patients. Participants indicated interest in obtaining training in SUD treatment to address this. Policy recommendations were included in the final report.

Integration of Substance Use Disorder Treatment with Primary Care in Preparation for Health Care Reform was funded by California Program on Access to Care, contract KKN06A, from October 2011 to October 2012.

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Kern County Project CARE Evaluation

Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Darren Urada, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Valerie Antonini, M.P.H., Project Director

In 2011, California’s Kern County contracted with UCLA ISAP to provide evaluation, training, and technical assistance services for Project Care, which aims to integrate substance use and mental health services into primary care settings.  In 2011–2012, UCLA’s work with Kern County’s Project Care fell into two broad categories: 1. General Integration Activities, Training, and Technical Assistance, and 2. Measures of Integration.  Trainings to date have been well received and initial measures indicate increasing levels of integration at the participating sites.

Kern County Project CARE Evaluation was funded by Kern County, contracts 241-2011 and 566-2012, from May 2011 to June 2013.
Last Updated:  12/06/2012

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2016 ISAP Publications
2015 ISAP Publications