Medicare plan launches addiction services for seniors | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

Medicare plan launches addiction services for seniors

March 4, 2015
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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Independence at Home, which is operated by SCAN Health Plan, has added a new program for older adults that provides screening, assessment, counseling, brief therapy and action planning for individuals who may be misusing alcohol, drugs or prescription medication. The Substance Assistance for Elders (S.A.F.E.) program will deploy more than 100 local social workers, nurses and others  who are trained to recognize the risk factors, signs and symptoms of substance abuse in older adults.

“With older adults utilizing one-third of all prescription medications, misuse and abuse is a very dangerous and growing problem,” said Dr. Marsha Meyer, PharmD, CGP, CGCM, director of Health and Wellness Services for Independence at Home, in a statement.

Substance abuse often goes undiagnosed due to a variety of factors, including ageism, denial, and/ or lack of access to services in the community. Independence at Home’s S.A.F.E. program aims to fill the gap in services to improve outcomes and quality of life.

To be eligible for the S.A.F.E. program, participants must be age 55 or older, or a caregiver for someone 55 or older.

SCAN Health Plan serves 170,000 members in California and Arizona and was originally launched as a Medicare demonstration program. It’s well known for programs that aim to keep seniors living in their homes with community support in lieu of nursing home care.