What we do


What we do

A masked doctor engaged in conversation


Overdose deaths are on the rise across Washington state. This means emergency department visits for opioid related complaints are increasing as well. 


Despite being a regular point of contact for people who use opioids, emergency department encounters have not been leading to a proportionate increase in access to treatment services. 


ScalaNW is a new program from the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) that helps emergency departments and acute care hospitals initiate medications for opioid use disorder and provide best practice care for patients with substance use disorder. 


Access to medications for opioid use disorder in emergency department settings can: 

  • Reduce the disproportionate post-visit mortality rates experienced by people who use opioids. 
  • Increase satisfaction for patients and providers. 
  • Reduce health care costs associated with opioid use disorder. 


Bridge program services 

ScalaNW is a bridge program, meaning it will provide the following services to all Washington hospitals and providers:

  • 24/7 clinical consultation and practice guidelines available online or via hotline. 
  • Regular updates on emerging research, treatments, and regulatory changes. 
  • A patient-facing portal with reliable after-discharge information and support. 


Additional support will be available for hospitals who wish to enroll in the program, including: 

  • Technical assistance with establishing policies, protocols, and billing processes. 
  • Site specific staff training and education. 
  • Scheduling service for follow-up appointments. 



Email ScalaNW for questions, requests to collaborate on or promote this work, or to express interest in enrolling your hospital.