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We are a group of addiction treatment providers working directly with payers and the Joint Commission in order to effect some specific changes in our industry that will promote ethical, transparent, and effective practices in addiction treatment that will more reliably provide long lasting success.
The reasons for the formation of this coalition are as follows:
The first reason is to address some abusive practices by some that are draining resources needed for successful treatment. We are all aware of treatment providers involved in these practices. Unfortunately, the payers of addiction treatment (insurance and government agencies) and the public have no way of separating the “good guys” from the “bad guys”, and we all are stained by the bad guys. This severely hinders any efforts at working directly with payers to provide effective long-term treatment standards that have been proven to work. Our coalition is working directly with the Joint Commission to develop a “Clean Hands” pledge of ethical, sound and legal treatment practices that are transparent and verifiable. This Certification will signify to payers and to the public that a center bearing the certification meets these standards of sound and ethical practices.
Allowing payers to firmly identify those centers that are providing sound and ethical treatment is very attractive to them and promotes good faith proposals to be developed to achieve our mutual goal of sustained and affordable recovery in a rapidly changing payer environment.
The second purpose of the coalition is to show payers how they can save money yet have increased success in addiction treatment by using a long term care strategy that has been proven to work. We all are aware of the tremendous proven success of treatment programs for licensed individuals such as physicians and pilots. These programs enjoy around a 75% five-year success rate, far greater than we see with any other traditional programs. The methods have been proven to be successful for physicians, pilots and some court systems, and these methods can be directly applied to non-licensed individuals that we treat every day. This long term care success involves some specific components. The first is an interventionist that enrolls and educates families in a way that can provide accountability. The interventionists stay involved for years keeping the families on board, in essence providing ongoing leverage similar to what a licensing board provides physicians and pilots. The other components of this program after an initial intervention include an integrated 90 days of treatment for medical, psychological and addiction issues, strong aftercare planning that continues after this initial 90 day acute stabilization, and continuous random drug screen monitoring for years. Payers are showing great interest in morphing the successful and proven professional programs into a program applicable to many others with addiction issues. Our work directly with the Joint Commission is also of great interest to the payers providing them a level of confidence in what they are paying for in a credentialed center.
Achievement of these goals can separate treatment centers with ethical and sound practices from those that are otherwise. It will also provide a framework for a standard of care that is lacking in our field that the payers are hungry for. This long term care plan has been applied to many diverse individuals successfully with a long track record. It preserves individual decisions and variations in treatment that may be needed. In addition to acute care treatment, this plan will foster years of real accountability that is seen as a key ingredient in the success of professionals programs. This accountability is created using family enlistment, education and continued involvement along with years of drug testing at a reasonable cost. These programs are already in place for professionals programs nationwide, and implementation of them on a broader basis will achieve the lower costs and higher success rates that payers and providers alike are seeking.