Wolf Administration Announces Partnership to Help Pennsylvanians Find High-Quality Substance Use Disorder Treatment

SuicideImage by Kleiton Santos

HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced yesterday that Pennsylvania is one of four new states partnering with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending addiction, to develop and implement of the Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and Standards Platform, ATLAS.

During the 12-month implementation period, DDAP will work with Shatterproof to customize and align ATLAS with ongoing initiatives in Pennsylvania. This project is part of DDAP’s 2020-2022 Strategic Plan goal to strengthen treatment systems by ensuring care is delivered using evidence-based best practices.

“The Wolf Administration is dedicated to providing high-quality treatment to every Pennsylvanian with a substance use disorder, especially now, as we’re seeing an increase in substance use and overdose deaths across Pennsylvania,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “This new tool will not only monitor the quality and effectiveness of treatment providers in Pennsylvania, but also gives individuals and families a trusted resource to locate quality care for themselves and their loved ones.”

ATLAS evaluates addiction treatment providers’ use of evidence-based best practices, and publicly displays this information to support those in need and their loved ones in finding appropriate, quality care. The current ATLAS platform has many unique features including:

  • Facilities’ use of best practices measured against Shatterproof National Principles of Care, evidence-based standards derived from the landmark 2016 Surgeon General’s Report on Addiction, and robust data gathered through a combination of validated sources;
  • Display of feedback from patients and patient’s family members;
  • 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
  • Ability to search and filter using criteria such as location, services offered, and insurance type.

In addition to the public search function, the platform also offers secure access to critical data for state policymakers, providers, and insurance payers to further drive improvements to the drug and alcohol 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.
  • Metrics allow payers 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, access changes, and disseminate resources such as technical assistance to support providers.

“It is now more critical than ever, given the profound uptick in 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 in search of quality substance use disorder treatment for themselves or a loved one,” says Jen Velez, Chief Impact Officer, 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.”

During the ATLAS implementation period in Pennsylvania, Shatterproof and DDAP will have regular dialogue with providers and the general public regarding the ATLAS platform and will host workgroups to solicit feedback on the tool. Shatterproof and DDAP will also encourage drug and alcohol provider participation, as participation in the platform is not mandatory.

In implementing ATLAS, Pennsylvania is building upon the successful ATLAS implementation across the six founding states— Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and West Virginia— with the goal of transforming the quality of addiction treatment.

Individuals seeking treatment or substance use supports for themselves or a loved one can always call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The free, confidential hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed by trained professionals. A live chat option is also available online or via text message at 717-216-0905 for those seeking help who may not be comfortable speaking to a helpline operator.

To learn more about what the Wolf Administration is doing to combat the opioid crisis, visit pa.gov/opioids.

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