California hospitals, advocates seek stable funding to retain behavioral health navigators

Health providers and addiction experts are concerned about the unstable funding structure of California’s CA Bridge initiative, which aims to place patients with substance use disorder into long-term treatment after they leave the emergency room. The program, which relies on one-time funding, has led to employees leaving critical positions. Despite the program’s success in prescribing medications for opioid addiction, sustaining the navigator program has been challenging. The state is exploring options to secure long-term funding, such as expanding the use of Medicaid and seeking additional federal grants. Hospital industry representatives emphasize the need for sustainable funding to encourage more members to join the program.

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