Stroudwater Associates Launches New Service Line to Help Primary Care Practices Improve Management of Patients on Long-Term Opioid Therapy

Stroudwater Associates, a leading source of strategic, operational, and financial advisory services for rural, community, and county/district-owned hospitals, launches a new service offering to help primary care clinics and provider practices understand and implement the Six Building Blocks opioid management program.

Improving management of long-term prescribed opioids is an increasingly urgent imperative for physicians, hospitals, Accountable Care Organizations, and health plans, as the opioid epidemic has worsened significantly during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary data shows an estimated 21% increase in US overdose deaths for the 12-month period ending June 2020 compared to the prior 12 months, with more than 83,000 overdose deaths, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over two million people have an opioid use disorder but only 20% receive treatment.

The Six Building Blocks program helps primary care clinics and practices implement consistent, effective, guideline-driven care for their chronic pain patients on long-term opioid therapy. “The opioid epidemic plagues communities across the country and rural communities, in particular, are increasingly impacted,” said Stroudwater Associates Managing Director Jeff Sommer. “Now, with the Six Building Blocks program, we will work alongside primary care clinics and provider practices to customize and integrate this program into their daily practices, supporting better patient care and helping to reduce the risk of opioid overdoses and death.”

The clinician-led Stroudwater team assisting healthcare organizations to understand and implement the Six Building Blocks program is comprised of lead Louise Bryde, MHA, BSN, RN; Carla Wilber, DNP, RN, NE-BC; and Lindsay Corcoran, MHA.

The Six Building Blocks program was developed by a physician-led team from the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine and the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

“The Six Building Blocks program clinical data has shown both quantitative and qualitative benefits of this program, including a reduction in the number of patients using chronic opioid therapy, a decrease in the percentage of patients on high dose opioids, and positive patient and provider feedback,” said Sommer. “We are pleased to help primary care providers implement this beneficial program and continue our mission of partnering with healthcare leaders to improve community health.”

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