Behavioral Health Network Improves Substance Use Care with Epharmix

Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis receives SAMHSA grant to expand telecoaching with Epharmix.

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One of the greatest barriers in treatment for substance abuse is the link between provider and patient communications. Now text messaging and telecoaching will help bridge that gap thanks to a $840,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

This technology assisted care coordination project is made possible through partnerships with Bridgeway Behavioral Health, a subsidiary of Preferred Family Healthcare, Epharmix, Inc. and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Texting and telecoaching with the Epharmix product allows healthcare providers to do remote monitoring with automated text messages and phone calls. During early trials of the product, it was found these were very effective tools in creating communication and support in between appointments. This also helps those who lack access to care or health insurance to have an alternative to care in the emergency department by avoiding a crisis. The system reminds clients to track chronic health conditions and encourages them to contact their caseworkers, which reduces follow-up needed from providers.

The Epharmix technology will provide extra support for the most vulnerable clients, those on Medicaid with multiple health problems along with substance abuse challenges. The technology will promote individual engagement in substance abuse treatment, improve chronic disease management, decrease medical costs and foster sustained recovery. The project will serve more than 200 people who reside in St. Louis City and the counties of Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren, during a three year project period.

“Our goal is to help people with behavioral health issues manage their conditions successfully,” says Wendy Orson, Behavioral Health Network CEO. “By demonstrating we can respond to our most vulnerable clients with this new technology, we can assist out community providers in taking the very best care of clients.”

This press release was originally written by BHN. CONTACT: Sally Haywood, Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis, Project Director 314-703-3653, shaywood@bhnstl.org, www.bhnstl.org