AP NEWS

WV selected for national pilot to create a rating system for addiction treatment programs

May 6, 2019

The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON - West Virginia has been chosen as 1 of 5 states to partner with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending the devastation of addiction, on the development and implementation of a rating system for addiction treatment programs.

During the 24-month pilot program, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will work with Shatterproof to align the rating system with ongoing initiatives in West Virginia to improve the quality of addiction treatment by ensuring care is delivered using evidence-based best practices.

“The substance use epidemic continues to impact individuals and families across West Virginia,” said DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch in a release. “We believe the results of this pilot program will enable us to ensure effective, quality substance use disorder services are offered across the state, which in turn, will benefit those who need our help to combat this problem.”

The Shatterproof Rating System will be piloted in select states over two years with the goal of transforming the quality of addiction treatment based on eight core principles of care. They include universal screening for substance use disorders (SUD) across medical settings; rapid access to appropriate SUD care; personalized diagnosis, assessment and treatment; continuing long-term outpatient care; concurrent, coordinated care for physical and mental health; access to fully trained behavioral health professionals; access to FDA-approved medications; and access to non-medical recovery support services.

The pilot will apply public rating system best practices to the addiction treatment field by measuring the evidence-based elements of care delivery shown to improve patient outcomes. This information will be gathered from three sources: insurance claims, provider surveys, and consumer experience.

“The approach was developed based on the learnings from existing healthcare rating systems as well as public-facing systems that rate products and services ranging from restaurants to refrigerators,“said Samantha Arsenault, director of national treatment quality initiatives at Shatterproof, in a release. “In health care, where this information can literally be the difference between life and death, the public can access data on hospitals, nursing homes, and many other provider types, but not yet addiction treatment services. By collecting this data and making it transparent, we aim to align market forces with evidence-based addiction treatment. Regardless of where someone goes for addiction treatment, they should expect care consonant with core evidence-based medical practices, just as they would with other diseases.”

Upon successful completion of the two-year pilot, sustained implementation will continue in the pilot states in addition to a phased expansion across the country.

West Virginia has taken several important steps to address the opioid epidemic, including the creation of the Ryan Brown fund, which gave DHHR the responsibility to develop long-term treatment beds and expand Quick Response Teams and LEAD programs, as well as Gov. Jim Justice’s pilot projects and his “Jobs in Making You Succeed” project.