ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA BRIDGE PROGRAM
The California Bridge Program is working to ensure that people with substance use disorder receive 24/7 high-quality care in every California health system by 2025. The program seeks to fully integrate addiction treatment into standard medical practice, breaking down barriers to access treatment, effectively saving lives.
Healthcare entities participating in the California Bridge Program will address substance use disorder as a treatable chronic illness, leveraging the healthcare system to begin treatment for patients with substance use disorder rather than looking outside of the standard medical facility for the initiation of evidence-based treatment.
High risk patients with opioid use disorder currently present to emergency rooms and acute care hospitals. California Bridge sites will "meet patients where they are" by screening for opioid use disorder and subsequently create an environment that welcomes disclosure of opioid use, provide rapid, evidence-based treatment, and effectively link patients to continued treatment.
Star sites will become ‘centers of excellence’ for initiating treatment of substance use disorders from anywhere in the hospital. Hospitals designated as Star sites will aim for the best level of evidence-based treatment as is possible. Star sites will enhance and expand pathways to treating patients with acute opioid withdrawal in any area of the hospital, and will work on an accelerated timeline toward all areas of the hospital able to support and start treatment and referral of patients with OUD while developing pathways for working with other regional hospitals such as Rural Bridge sites or others.
Rural Bridge Sites
Rural Bridge sites will provide new access points for evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders, planning to begin treatment primarily in the ED. Rural Bridge sites are particularly focused on the placement of substance use navigators (SUNs) (also known as treatment navigators, care navigators, substance use counselors, etc) in order to support patients in the beginning period of treatment and referral.
Bridge Clinics offer a “low-threshold” follow up clinic for patients started on evidence-based treatment in the hospital setting. Bridge clinics offer rapid access to x-waivered prescribers and ancillary staff who provide short term treatment as they assist patients with overcoming barriers to continued long term outpatient treatment in the community.