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Facilitation of the Stepped Care Model and Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder is a Partnered Evaluation Initiative funded by the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

The goals and objectives for this program are focused on implementing a comprehensive plan to train interdisciplinary teams in Primary Care, General Mental Health, Pain Clinics and SUD Specialty Care clinics to deliver a stepped care model of medication treatment for opioid use disorder (M-OUD) to Veterans at his/her preferred care facility.

The intent is to improve Veteran access to M-OUD treatment outside the confines of specialty addiction care and to capitalize on the Stepped Care for Opioid Use Train the Trainer (SCOUTT) operational initiative. After two national webinars during the Spring of 2018, SCOUTT was formally kicked off with a large national conference attended by nearly 300 VA staff from 18 VISNs, VACO leadership, and key stakeholders in August of 2018. At the two-day conference attended by facility non-specialty care implementation teams including 4 VISN leaders from each VISN, SCOUTT Facility Implementation Teams (SCOUTT FITs) were educated on two models to integrate SCOUTT into VA facilities, a medication management model and a case management model.

Teams developed action steps to integrate SCOUTT process in two clinic environments during the first-year post-conference (Phase 1), with the intention to spread to 18 other facilities in the subsequent year (Phase 2).

SCOUTT facilitators have engaged 18 SCOUTT Facility Implementation Teams (SCOUTT FITs) with monthly implementation meetings (at least 1 hour each) and additional mentorship and leadership calls as needed. Facilitators meet at least 1 hour weekly to compare notes and inform VACO leadership of the implementation progress. In addition, the PEC-19-001 meet at least 1 hour monthly with an ongoing planning committee meeting of national VA stakeholders regarding the progress of the initiative.

At least 2 facilitators to date also visited Lake City VA, Hampton VA, and Philadelphia VA for 2-day visits. At Lake City and Hampton VA, a buprenorphine waiver training was conducted where over 60 staff were trained on the provision of medication treatment for opioid use disorder for Veterans. In addition, in site visits the facilitators also visited with VISN leadership, Mental Health, Primary Care, Pain Clinic, Pharmacy, social work and/or conducted several training sessions with SCOUTT implementation team. The team reviewed how patients are selected for treatment, what induction day looks like at their clinic, and toured the facilities. Site reports were provided to the sites. At three sites, facility leadership was briefed regarding SCOUTT in a dedicated session, and VA facility leadership interacted with the PEC-19-001 team ad hoc at nearly all site visits. Monthly, the SCOUTT educational program provides two national webinars: one webinar monthly is geared to improve implementation and are intended for the 18 VISN teams (about 250 persons) and a second webinar monthly is geared to improve the education of all VA staff. VA EES supports this webinar and provides CME/CE credits. Webinars have included more than 300 participants at times.



This program focusses on implementing a comprehensive plan to train interdisciplinary teams in Primary Care, General Mental Health, Pain Clinics and SUD Specialty Care clinics to deliver a stepped care model of medication treatment for OUD in order to provide treatment services around the Veteran at his/her preferred point of care.


Develop, implement, deliver, produce and sustain SCOUTT strategies and products across all VISNs.


Facilitate, train, and mentor VISN-wide SCOUTT Pilot Team members through face-to-face meetings and community of practice webinars.


Completed pre-implementation activities including asking VISN leaders to nominate a SCOUTT team at each VISN comprised of a pain specialist lead, a primary care lead and two clinical champions

Held two-day conference and trained teams on two models of MOUD care.

Held 7 site visits this year at VISNs to train teams implementing the train-the-trainer models.

Held routine calls with facilitators to identify barriers and brainstorm ideas to eliminate the barriers.

Held webinars where VISN SCOUTT teams provided updates on activities.

Held routine calls with the planning committee to plan for future regional conferences.

Held weekly meetings with SCOUTT External Facilitation group.

Held monthly meetings SCOUTT Planning Committee.

Liaised with the VA EES office for the monthly SCOUTT EES Webinar.

Held monthly SCOUTT Pilot Teams Facilitation Calls.

Managed listservs and responded to questions posted on the listserv.

Identified and invited leaders in the field to present on topics related to SCOUTT.

Collaborated with VA Central Office and EES

Conducted survey to understand provider perspectives

Conducted buprenorphine x-waiver trainings

Collated site reports and collected qualitative information in REDCap

Conducted provider interviews and working on evaluating the information

Collaborated with VACO leadership on VHA Notice 2019-18 buprenorphine prescribing for opioid use disorder Collaborated with VACO leadership on Emergency Dept Opioid Initiative


Principal Investigator: Adam Gordon, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM
Program Director: Amy Mhatre-Owens, MS
Sponsor: Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI); Department of Veterans Affairs; PEC-19-001