Indiana County Receives Assistance for Targeted Opioid Reduction

Memphis, Tenn. – Clinton County, Indiana, will soon receive a boost in its ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic. The atom Alliance, a partnership between Memphis-based Qsource in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana; Information & Quality Healthcare (IQH) in Mississippi; and AQAF in Alabama was recently named the recipient of a Special Innovation Project (SIP), awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The purpose of the project is to work collaboratively with IU Hospital Frankfort and physicians in Clinton County to decrease opioid use.

Contracted by CMS as a Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO), atom Alliance works to improve overall healthcare quality throughout Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.

The organization will work with physicians and community advocates in Clinton County to implement proven interventions and educate prescribers on appropriate prescribing and use of opioids. Patient education will be offered in the community to share alternatives to opioid medication for chronic pain management.

Dr. Joan Duwve, Chief Medical Officer at the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) said, “It’s a critical issue for this community. Indiana has high rates of opioid prescribing and overdoses.  This epidemic touches lives in every Indiana county, including Clinton County. This collaboration and concentrated effort will help save lives.”

Qsource’s Mitzi Daffron agrees. Daffron will oversee the project for atom Alliance over the next two years and says her team will work hand-in-hand with the hospital and its providers to develop and implement proven, data-driven interventions that are sustainable. “Given the seriousness of the opioid crisis, we understand quality improvement interventions must be systemically executable, consistent and sustainable,” Daffron said. “We’ll accomplish this by working closely with IU Hospital Frankfort and the ISDH, among other community partners, toward attainable quality improvement goals.”

Working in collaboration with the Paoli Hospital and the state department of health, atom Alliance will assist in the implementation of the Paoli model. This collaboration will spread the intervention they used successfully to reduce opioid use and overdoses. “We’ll work closely with the leaders from Paoli to mirror the program they designed to track opioid use and identify patients at risk,” said Daffron.

Another focus of the project will be adoption of the Indiana State Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force toolkit, “First Do No Harm: The Indiana Healthcare Providers’ Guide to the Safe, Effective Management of Non-Terminal Pain” program. Daffron said, “This toolkit will equip physicians with practical knowledge they need to reduce opioid prescriptions and recognize misuse.”

Additionally, atom Alliance will work with Healthy Communities of Clinton County to widely promote and share patient-centered videos to educate the entire community on the dangers of opioid misuse.

Daffron noted that these projects are two-year quality improvement projects that align with goals of a broader, national CMS Quality Strategy and emphasize the power of partnerships. “The atom Alliance is leveraging data-driven methods, state partnerships and stakeholder relationships, and our ability to ensure that the voices of patients and families are all represented,” Daffron said.

For information on this SIP and other examples of how atom Alliance is assisting the region’s healthcare providers with quality improvement, practice transformation and other initiatives, please visit: www.atomAlliance.org. 

About atom Alliance

atom Alliance is a five-year, five-state initiative to ignite powerful and sustainable change in healthcare quality. Formed as a partnership between three leading healthcare consultancies, atom Alliance is working under contract to THE CENTERS for MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS) to improve quality and achieve better outcomes in health and healthcare and at lower costs for the patients and communities we serve. Through atom Alliance, AQAF in Alabama, IQH in Mississippi and Qsource in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee are carrying out an exciting strategic plan, with programs in place to convene, teach and inform healthcare providers, engage and empower patients, and inspire, share knowledge and spread best practices with communities across the entire healthcare continuum.