For visionaries, pragmatists, and investors who wish to join forces to create the most effective addiction treatment program in the world
Healing Hands Addiction Centers, LLC has developed an Action Plan that was conceived to recruit a statewide consortium of dedicated, like-minded partners to join in forming a planning committee to create a coordinated strategy to more effectively fight the war on addiction. In the following narrative, Healing Hands Addiction Centers presents its concept for a blueprint describing how a statewide system can be organized. The Plan features an administered system of care that coordinates the activities of multi-centric Centers of Excellence that deliver addiction medical care to regional populations. A pilot project showcasing a prototype Center of Excellence for coordinated care in Lake Village, Arkansas is presently being organized for launch and is presented as a potential model of operations at the end of this discourse.
The intent is to motivate, energize and recruit disparate partners with varying expertise and mandates to embrace a common goal and bring them to a planning table to produce a strategic plan. Parties to represent:
- government – to generate legislative policy and regulatory support
- funding sources including government, private foundations, health care payers, grant resources, private investors
- providers and administrators with specialized expertise in delivering addiction medical care
Founder, Dr. Roger Mason, has been working as a surgeon and emergency room physician in Arkansas for the last eight years. Most recently, Dr. Mason has recognized the desperate need for improved medical care for substance abuse patients and has dedicated himself full time to delivering more effective care to this segment of the population.
Leading Cause of Accidental Death
Substance abuse is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, and Arkansas had 444 drug overdose deaths in 2018.1 40% of all opioid related deaths involved a prescription opioid, and Arkansas was no. 2 in the nation for over prescribing opioids at 114.6 prescriptions/100 people!2
One key factor that became obvious in HHAC’s initial research into the disparate etiologies of the addiction crisis was the strong association between addiction to other underlying health factors such as chronic pain. This has led us to conclude that to succeed in the health restoration process we must aid the patient in understanding and then treating core underlying health issues such as chronic pain using non-opiate medical solutions and other modalities.
One of the most pervasive challenges Dr. Mason has identified in achieving successful outcomes is the lack of an organized system of care to guide patients through what to them is an unintelligible maze of care experiences contributing to failure and compromised outcomes. We have observed that while we are blessed with dedicated and capable providers in many disciplines, there are many gaps between required care experiences that even the most motivated patients find it difficult to navigate.
Integrated System of Care
HHAC’s signature strategy is to design and implement an integrated system of care that provides more effective therapy while driving down costs through operational efficiencies. At its core is a commitment to deliver holistic care to each individual in a highly personalized and empathetic manner, addressing the physical, emotional, and, if individually desired, spiritual aspects of a patient’s well-being. HHAC accomplishes its objectives by creating a coordinated care management plan that centers on the patient’s aspirations. HHAC’s close to 90% success rate (no relapse) in its first two years of operation is attributed to an intense focus on the individual patient and their personal needs along with an empathetic guided experience to help assure successful achievement of their goals.
One of our most impactful outcome measurements, in addition to traditional metrics, is direct patient feedback that reflects their gratitude as they take their first steps toward normalizing their lives on the journey to sobriety under HHAC’s guidance (see sample patient survey). HHAC’s perspectives and strategies, honed by its roots in the Arkansas Delta, are equally applicable to urban population centers.
HHAC anticipates its model, currently being formalized and refined at the inaugural Healing Hands Addiction Center in Warren, Arkansas and its recently expanded offices in Pine Bluff and Little Rock, Arkansas will be recognized as the “best practice” standard for Arkansas as well as the rest of the nation.
This is an opportunity for Arkansas to continue its long tradition of introducing state of the art health care practices to the rest of the nation.
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse: Arkansas: Opioid-involved Deaths and related Harms
2. Ibid. p. 2
Healing Hands Addiction Centers, Inc.’s Addiction Medicine/Pain Management System is based on a study of Best Practices
To accelerate the incorporation of best practices and coalition building into our model, HHAC researched national best practices that have been successful in implementing innovative, comprehensive changes that result in outstanding quality care at remarkable cost savings. HHAC features a model for care customized to Arkansas’ mixed urban and rural population that incorporates proven practice guidelines that have a track record for success in other states.
To leverage Arkansas’ existing strengths, we envision forming a centrally administered, decentralized network of Centers of Excellence that features the following components:
- Appropriate time and entry point into the service system. An RN Hotline operator, available 24/7, to triage ER patients for both suicide and addiction issues to available in-patient, residential and outpatient care, responsive to patient need.
- In-hospital detox: HHAC is working with multiple critical access and other community hospitals throughout the state, to dedicate beds for in-hospital detox for patients who require withdrawal under closer supervision due to the severity of their substance disorder or co-existing co-morbid conditions.
- Residential Care–continuing its work with existing entities such as New Beginnings, C.A.S.A. in Warren, while collaborating with other independent entities to create an expanded network of Residential Care centers throughout the state.
- Outpatient MATS clinics: To test the concept, we’ve expanded our geographic coverage to the Greater Pine Bluff region and Little Rock creating a network of decentralized MATS clinics for outpatient induction and maintenance in multiple accessible locations throughout the State. HHAC is also creating a business plan that will offer a “toolbox of options” to help recruit independent primary care physicians and midlevel nurse practitioners to join a network of MATS providers throughout the state
- Intensive Counseling Support: HHAC uses an “in-house” counseling staff of Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Drug and Alcohol counselors and others as well as relying on its close collaboration with various regional Behavioral Counseling services to provide full counseling support for its patients. This includes deployment of Peer Support Specialists to complete a “safety net” of care created for each patient.
- Pain Management: Patients afflicted with chronic pain conditions are evaluated by HHAC’s pain management team who is working in conjunction with pain management specialists. Our team acknowledges the biopsychosocial factors contributing to chronic pain and the need to coordinate multimodal therapies in order to most effectively treat the condition which may include interventional pain therapy delivered by regional Pain Management specialist teams, as well as a wide variety of complementary alternative pain therapies. These alternate modalities normally include behavioral health counseling to reduce the stress, depression and anxiety frequently exacerbating chronic pain and may include other modalities including chiropractic manipulations, meditation, hypnosis, physical therapy, acupuncture, Reiki, low energy ultrasound and stem cell applications. All interventions will be rigorously assessed for efficacy using best practice standards and clinical research protocols working in collaboration with academic pain management center protocols.
- Accessibility for all regardless of ability to pay: HHAC provides care for all patients regardless of ability to pay by providing expedited access to insurance coverage.
- All demographic age groups: HHAC has partnered with Reform Inc’s Founder, Ms. Melrita Johnson, LCSW who works in conjunction with the BLAZE Academy to empower youth from ages 10-24 yrs. throughout Arkansas to develop life skills and self-esteem to become future leaders, while dealing with existing mental health and addiction challenges.
- Shared administrative and data infrastructure: All interested parties are welcomed to participate in the design of this project and to assist in the implementation of the model once it is developed.
Involvement with Correctional Care System
HHAC is working with local Judges active in the Regional District Court System to expand an existing program for prison diversion that is currently functioning through New Beginnings. HHAC is also collaborating with Exodus Life, Inc. to support their felon release system with an outpatient MATS program and to offer a more expanded MATS program within the Arkansas Correctional system.
HHAC’s Involvement with area Ministries
HHAC is forming working alliances with local Ministries who wish to participate in an Addiction Medical Service for their parishioners.
HHAC’s Engagement with Telehealth/Tele-Psych technology
Responsive to the exigencies imposed by the Covid 19 epidemic, HHAC has engaged telehealth technology to facilitate its mission to provide easier access to health care in the rural Delta population, particularly in the arena of Behavioral Health services.
Proof of concept project
Lake Village Health and Wellness: A Destination Center of Excellence
featuring Addiction Medicine/Pain Management treatment
- to provide integrated, comprehensive care featuring cutting edge, innovative treatments for addiction and chronic pain patients
- To demonstrate the effectiveness of a Center of Excellence for Addiction Medicine and Pain Management, providing fully integrated services in a local model for Health and Wellness.
a. Local critical access hospitals offering acute drug and alcohol detox for patients who require in-patient care
b. Conversion of a local assisted living facility into a residential care facility (38 beds)
c. Outpatient MATS (suboxone supported) clinic
d. Counseling provided by in-house personnel and in collaboration with local Behavioral Health clinics including Delta Counseling
e. Interventional Pain therapy delivered at local hospitals as outpatient services in coordination with regional Pain Management providers
f. Outpatient alternative pain management services offered in a relaxed village environment, housed in multiple local renovated store fronts in downtown Lake Village, Main Street to include:
g. i. Hypnosis for smoking, obesity and other addictions
ii. Transcendental Meditation classes
iii. Physical therapy
v. Medical office including acupuncture, medical marijuana
vi. Acupuncture/Sound Therapy, Reiki Therapy
vii. Action therapy including lakeside hiking, water sports (swimming, boating, fishing, sailing)
h. Local Ministries (all faiths) participating at local houses of worship
i. Local restaurant on Main street featuring “healthy living” menu
Negotiations are in progress to include the neighboring community of Eudora (15 miles east of Lake Village) in a regional project to revitalize the economic development in this part of the state. Both communities have plans to implement new industrial growth including the development of a 200 acre working farm in Eudora that could be used as job retraining for recovering addicts to find jobs in the farming industry post discharge from the transitional living facility in Lake Village. There are also early plans to build a hemp processing plant in Eudora that may require up to 1500 local laborers. Investigations are also being made to consider developing a fish farm on Lake Chicot, and also to develop the water resource as a haven for recreational fishing and boating as well as an outlet for recreational “action” therapy for the recovering SUD clientele in the residential and transitional care facilities in Lake Village.