Shatterproof has begun work to develop a rating system for addiction treatment programs. This first-of-its-kind measurement system will reduce confusion for families in need while driving quality improvement in the addiction treatment space.

The problem

Addiction can be treated with the same effectiveness as other chronic diseases, like diabetes or hypertension. But many addiction treatment programs do not follow the evidence-based best practices that are actually shown to improve patient outcomes. It is nearly impossible to tell which programs offer evidence-based care, and which do not. 

Right now, there is massive variation in the approach and standards of care among addiction treatment programs. Many programs offer outdated treatment approaches that are not based on science. These programs are harmful. They perpetuate stigma and misconceptions about addiction, and in some cases, their practices are even criminal. But patients and their family members have very little information about the quality of addiction treatment programs, and so they cannot make informed decisions about care.

What Shatterproof’s Rating System for Addiction Treatment Programs will deliver

Shatterproof’s new rating system will display transparent and trustworthy information about addiction treatment programs. It will show whether or not each program offers services that align with proven, evidence-based best practices outlined in our Principles of Care©

The system will allow consumers to report on their experiences with addiction treatment programs. It will be searchable by location, insurance provider, quality, and other factors that are important to the public. The system will be easy for consumers to understand, and it will be free for them to use.

The system will also feature password-protected portals for programs, payers, and states. Within their portal, addiction treatment programs can access their own data, which will be benchmarked against industry data to drive quality improvement. Payers can use their portal to access data about programs in their network to financially incentivize better performance. States can use their portal to access data to inform treatment access and other state-based initiatives, such as technical assistance. The system will incentivize change and improvement among treatment programs by increasing accountability.

Our approach

Publicly available health quality reporting has been in existence in the U.S. since 1987, when the Health Care Financing Administration, now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released nationwide hospital-specific mortality data. Following controversy over the public release of this information, efforts for improvement began, and quality reporting models started to evolve. Now, there are hundreds of reporting initiatives focused on a variety of healthcare services and settings and using a range of methodologies. Building off of lessons learned from decades of health quality reporting, Shatterproof has developed an approach that overcomes the limitations of past systems in order to efficiently collect and report accurate, comprehensive data.

The Shatterproof Rating System for Addiction Treatment Programs will utilize data from 3 sources: insurance claims, provider surveys, and consumer experience.

Our provider surveys will ask treatment programs to self-report on a variety of data. If any given program does not self-report, this fact will be clearly displayed for consumers, and when possible the quality information from the other two data sources (insurance claims and consumer experience) will still be displayed.

We are using a mixed-method approach to ensure we can capture as much quality information as possible, given the fragmentation of the addiction treatment system.

Importantly, this system will examine providers of all substance use disorder treatment, not just those who offer treatment for opioid use disorder. While some of the system’s measures are specific to opioid use disorder, those will be marked as such.

Pilot audiences

This project will be piloted in a select number of states. We are in in the process of finalizing which states will be included and will provide updates when the pilot states are officially chosen. 

We will select the pilot states based on a number of criteria, including likelihood of ensuring the success of the pilot, and demonstrated potential to scale the rating system after the pilot.

During the pilot period, the Rating System will be free to all users, including treatment programs and payers.

Funding

This roughly $5 million project is being led by Shatterproof and is supported by The Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as well as a group of health insurers: Aetna, a CVS Health business, Anthem, Inc., Beacon Health Options, Cigna, Magellan Health, and UnitedHealth Group.