Nationally, substance use disorder is on the rise and fatal drug overdoses have reached an all-time high, with over 90,000 deaths occurring in the 12 months ending in December 2020, according to recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. To help those in need, Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States, is expanding and enhancing its free tool, ATLAS®, to connect individuals with high-quality, appropriate addiction treatment throughout California.
ATLAS was launched one year ago today, and is currently available in Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Shatterproof announced last month that ATLAS is also expanding its reach to Florida, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, empowering 28 percent of the US population to find evidence-based treatment within their state next spring. Once implemented next year in California, ATLAS will be available to just over 40% of the US population – a monumental accomplishment within just one year of the platform’s launch. ATLAS will be available to California residents in Winter 2022.
“Access to high quality, evidence-based care for substance use disorder is part of our strategic vision for behavioral health care in California,” says Kelly Pfeifer, M.D., Deputy Director, Behavioral Health, California Department of Health Care Services. “We are excited to join the ranks of states across the country that are partnering with Shatterproof to use ATLAS to help combat the addiction crisis that affects far too many individuals and families.”
“It is now more critical than ever, given the profound uptick in fatal overdoses and the impact that COVID-19 has had on addiction and mental health, that people are able to access a trusted, free resource when searching for quality substance use disorder treatment for themselves or a loved one,” says Gary Mendell, Founder and CEO, Shatterproof. “Trust is everything. We know that it can be a confusing, scary time when someone is seeking help, and we want to ensure that the information available to find quality care is trusted, unbiased, and meets the person’s needs.”
ATLAS is the only platform that measures the quality of addiction treatment and makes this information publicly available. This free tool identifies addiction treatment providers’ use of evidence-based best practices and displays this information to support those in need and their loved ones in navigating to appropriate, quality care. Individuals can search for and compare treatment options using criteria that are important to them – such as location, particular services offered, and insurance accepted. ATLAS also allows patients (or their family members acting as a proxy) to provide feedback on their treatment experience. The platform lists all authorized treatment providers in a state.
The current ATLAS platform has many unique features:
- Facilities’ use of best practices measured against Shatterproof National Principles of Care, which are evidence-based standards derived from the landmark 2016 Surgeon General’s Report on Addiction as well as subject matter and other clinical experts;
- Display of feedback from patients and family members, updated daily;
- An Addiction Treatment Needs Assessment, created in collaboration with the subject matter expertise of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and OpenBeds, to help guide the search based on an individual’s needs and severity;
- Ability to search and filter using criteria such as location, services offered, and insurance provider.
The ATLAS platform, www.TreatmentATLAS.org has seen more than 110,000 website visits since launch in July 2020, was successfully implemented in 6 states, now expanding to 5 more with data from more than 1200 facilities included, and will be updated over the coming months to enhance the experience of those seeking treatment.
ATLAS 2021 enhancements include:
- All content available in Spanish.
- Ability to search for facilities by name.
- Improved display of insurance information
- Integration of state resources into ATLAS
- Updated educational content to increase readability.
In addition, the platform also offers secure access to critical data for state policymakers, providers, and insurance payers to further drive improvements to the addiction treatment space, fueled by increased accountability and transparency:
- Addiction treatment providers can compare their quality data to that of their peers and use these metrics to inform internal quality improvement efforts.
- Payers can use metrics to assess the performance of providers to more easily align financial incentives to support quality care over quantity.
- State policymakers can use the data to better direct policy, assess changes, and disseminate resources such as technical assistance to support providers.
When the platform launches in Florida, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania in Spring 2022, and in California in Winter 2022, it will feature all of these components, using facility-level data collected in each state. In the interim, the ATLAS team will be working with stakeholders and partners in each of the eleven states to collect data from addiction treatment providers, analyze and validate these data using industry best practices, and disseminate technical assistance resources to providers.
Shatterproof partnered with key thought leaders and subject matter experts in the addiction treatment space to create ATLAS. The platform is based on quality measurement system best practices and uses metrics developed via a multi-step process, culminating with a National Quality Forum (NQF) expert panel and public comment period. Shatterproof continues to revise and update the ATLAS measures displayed on the platform to ensure they reflect current evidence in the field.
ATLAS is funded by Arnold Ventures; the Duke Endowment; the Longwood Foundation; state partners: the California Department of Health Care Services, the Louisiana Department of Health, the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources – Office of Drug Control Policy; and several national and state-based health care companies: Aetna, a CVS Health Company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Cigna, GuideWell in partnership with New Directions Behavioral Health, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and UnitedHealth Group.
About Shatterproof:Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States. Shatterproof harnesses the models of business, the rigor of science and the power of a national movement to create change and save lives through three pillars of work: revolutionizing the addiction treatment system, breaking down addiction-related stigmas and supporting and empowering our communities. To learn more visit www.Shatterproof.org.
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