Alliant Quality to Work to Improve Opioid Safety in Pharmacies and Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries with Mental Illness and Opioid Use



ATLANTA - Alliant Quality, the Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Georgia and North Carolina has been awarded two new Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The first SIP entitled, Engaging Patients and Family in Opioid Safety at the Pharmacy, supports pharmacists in counseling patients to understand opioid risks and to expand access to the opioid-reversal agent naloxone under the state’s standing order protocol.

Through the initiative, training programs and a process to dispense naloxone under the standing order protocol will be developed for participating pharmacies.  Also, processes identifying high-risk opioid prescription patterns will be implemented.

The second project entitled, Improving Care Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries with Mental Illness and Opioid Use, focuses on the implementation of a targeted, community-wide education and engagement program. The goal of this project is to achieve a 25 percent reduction in unnecessary opioid prescribing by designated emergency departments to patients with comorbid mental illness and substance use disorders, and to decrease emergency room presentations and hospitalizations for the same population by 25 percent.

This project will utilize a whole health action management program and peer support group model to encourage increased resiliency, wellness and self-managed health for people with mental illness and chronic opioid misuse.  In addition, education will be provided to emergency department prescribers. Peer Support Specialists will work with hospital case management staff to develop an outreach plan for patients.  Also, an established local action network (LAN) will be used to educate and train various stakeholders.

“The opioid epidemic is a critical issue for the patient population we serve,” said Alliant Quality CEO and President Dr. Dennis White. “We are committed to supporting communities in Georgia and North Carolina to enhance patient safety and well-being, and the way we treat pain.”

For information on how to join these efforts, visit


About Alliant Quality 

Alliant Quality, the Medicare QIN-QIO for Georgia and North Carolina, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to continuously improving health care. In operation since 1970, Alliant Quality provides innovative health care solutions focused on quality improvement, utilization management, medical review, and health care outcomes research. For more information, please visit

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