National Rating System For Addiction Treatment Being Tested In 5 States

By Victoria Kim 05/06/19

West Virginia is the latest state to announce its partnership with Shatterproof to test the rating system.

researchers testing the national rating system

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 1 in 12 American adults—that’s 18.7 million people—had a substance use disorder. Yet only a fraction of them will get help.

A pilot program is hoping to change that by setting a standard for quality addiction treatment.

Five states have teamed up with the non-profit organization Shatterproof to test this new rating system—Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and West Virginia.

“People who need help for addiction don’t know what to look for or where to turn. Right now, there is more transparent and credible information about the quality of your next refrigerator than an addiction treatment program,” said Samantha Arsenault, Director of National Treatment Quality Initiatives at Shatterproof. “We are taking rating system best practices from healthcare and other business sectors and applying them to addiction treatment. This will not only provide critical information to individuals looking for care but also drive a long overdue transformation of the addiction treatment industry.”

The goal of the Shatterproof Rating System is to take the currently fragmented treatment industry and make it more transparent and accessible.

“The quality of care varies widely among addiction treatment programs, and individuals looking for care can’t identify high-quality programs,” said Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of Shatterproof. “It is time a standard be set across all of addiction treatment, and the entire system aligns behind evidence-based care.”

Arsenault says that a majority of treatment programs in the U.S. do not offer evidence-based treatment like addiction medication. The Rating System seeks to bring this to light and encourage more access to drugs like buprenorphine within a comprehensive treatment program.

“One concrete example of that is that we are in the wake of an opioid epidemic and yet 60% of the specialty addiction treatment programs in the U.S. don’t offer a single medication to treat opioid use disorder,” she told Government Technology.

The Rating System will go live in 2020, according to Shatterproof’s website. All treatment facilities in the pilot states will be invited to participate by completing a Treatment Program Survey.

West Virginia was the latest state to announce its partnership with Shatterproof to test the rating system.

“The substance use epidemic continues to impact individuals and families across West Virginia,” said Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. “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.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr