Task Force Aims to Implement U.S. Surgeon General’s Recommendations to Improve Quality of Treatment Available in the U.S. 

Atlanta, GA – Today, Shatterproof launched the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force, created to expand access to quality treatment for the 21 million Americans with substance use disorders. The Task Force will utilize a business approach to address the lack of quality addiction treatment, by developing a private sector-oriented plan to implement the recommendations found in the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, published last November. The Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force is comprised of private and public payers, advocates and former government officials.

“This subject is near and dear to my heart. My son went to eight different treatment programs, and none of them followed evidenced-based quality measures. Now, as a business leader, I am guided by the belief that goals need to be measurable in order to be achieved and that the only way to solve the treatment cycle is by driving more quality-oriented goals,” said Gary Mendell, CEO of Shatterproof and founder of the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force. “The Surgeon General’s report provides evidence-based, research-backed recommendations for effective treatment. The Task Force’s goal is to apply business standards to these recommendations and give treatment providers the tools they need to ensure patients receive quality treatment.”

The Task Force will improve the quality of addiction treatment by approaching the challenge in four ways:

  1. Tie the use of evidenced-based quality measures and /or patient outcomes to the state licensing of treatment providers;
  2. Payers of treatment provide incentives to providers for the use of evidenced based quality measures and/or patient outcomes;
  3. Educate consumers to boost demand for evidenced-based treatment quality measures and/or patient outcomes; and/or
  4. Improve the education of providers in the quality measures to improve patient outcomes.

“The opioid epidemic is arguably the biggest public health crisis facing our country, and I look forward to working with business, advocates and health leaders to formulate an actionable plan to address the need for better treatment outcomes,” said Michael Botticelli, Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center and former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “While a wealth of research exists on how to improve substance use disorder treatment, there are significant opportunities to improve the quality of treatment. Our goal at the Task Force is to create this plan using the Surgeon General’s recommendations and to ultimately improve the quality of treatment available across the country.” 

One of the Task Force’s first deliverables will be a tool that rates treatment providers based on agreed quality measures and patient outcome. This rating will be published to be used by consumers, credentialing and licensing agencies, payers and providers.

The Task Force aims to have the standards ready by October 1. They will then meet with payers throughout the fall to gain their input, finalize the standards and develop the incentives to providers to increase the use of these measures.

Current Steering Committee:

  • Michael Botticelli, Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center, and former Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy.
  • Jay Butler, President, ASTHO Board of Directors and Director of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
  • David Calabrese, SVP and Chief Pharmacy Officer, OptumRX
  • Chris Hocevar, MBA, President of both Cigna Healthcare’s Select and Pharmacy businesses.
  • Charles Ingoglia, MSW, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Practice Improvement at the National Council of Behavioral Health.
  • Thomas McLellan, PhD, founder and chairman of the Treatment Research Institute, and served as the Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama.
  • Gary Mendell, MBA, founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national non-profit dedicated to reducing the devastation associated with addiction.
  • Penny S. Mills, MBA, Executive Vice President / CEO, American Society of Addiction Medicine.
  • John O’Brien, Senior Consultant at Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc., former senior advisor at for healthcare financing at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Daniel Polsky, PhD, Executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. LDI is the leading university institute dedicated to improving health and health care through data-driven, policy-focused research. $100 million/year in research grants among 240 Senior Fellows.
  • Martin H. Rosenzweig, MD, Senior Medical Director, Optum Behavioral Health

For more info about the Task Force, please visit: https://www.shatterproof.org/substance-use-disorder-treatment-task-force

About Gary Mendell:

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof. Mr. Mendell founded Shatterproof to spare others the tragedy his family suffered with the loss of his son Brian to addiction in 2011. Gary is an experienced businessman and CEO, who founded HEI Hotels & Resorts and is the former president of Starwood Lodging Trust.

About Shatterproof:

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support for families. Shatterproof provides families with evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance-use disorders.





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