Each April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) hosts Alcohol Awareness Month to increase understanding of alcoholism, its causes, and effective treatment for recovery. In the US, approximately 17 million adults have alcohol use disorder – a medical condition diagnosed when a person’s drinking causes distress or harm.
Alcohol use disorder can be treated, however, only of a fraction of those living with this condition ever receive help. Identification – specifically by a patient’s physician – can be a critical step toward recovery.
As the CMS Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Georgia and North Carolina, our division Alliant Quality, has been tasked with increasing the identification of alcohol use disorder in primary care settings.
To do this, Alliant Quality developed a learning and action network (LAN) of medical experts, community partners, physician practices and other stakeholders to share and disseminate best practices on alcohol use disorder screening. We offer monthly webinars for participants and no-cost, onsite technical assistance for implementation and sustainability. Practices participating in this initiative will learn how to gain efficiencies, reduce costs and improve the overall quality of care for those affected by this disorder.
Through the collective effort of our work and other national initiatives, we hope to lessen the burden of those affected by this disorder, and to encourage more patients to seek treatment.
For more information on Alliant Quality’s work in increasing alcohol use disorder screening, please visit: http://www.alliantquality.org/content/behavioral-health.