Groups: Offering Affordable, Team-Based Treatment for Opioid Addiction

CHCF is investing in the medication-assisted treatment company Groups to provide opioid addiction treatment to rural communities in California.

September 2017
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Access to effective addiction treatment is severely limited or nonexistent in many areas of California, particularly in rural communities with high rates of overdose deaths. Groups provides buprenorphine — an effective medication for opioid use disorder that can be prescribed by primary care clinicians — along with group therapy and other support services to facilitate recovery from addiction. Groups is a low-cost option and should soon be available to people insured through Medi-Cal.

In Groups' team-based model, patients participate in weekly group therapy led by addiction counselors and receive medication management from local physicians, while administrators coordinate patient care and manage regulatory requirements. Groups has been successful in recruiting physicians in rural areas to provide opiate addiction treatment where it would otherwise be unavailable. Groups' model works as well as the industry average at a much lower cost and has proven to be highly scalable. Groups is active in Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Ohio.