The National Institutes of Health, through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, awarded OpenBeds® a Small Business Innovation Research grant to leverage their proprietary technology to transform the existing substance use disorder treatment system and contribute to an immediate and lasting impact on the fight against the opioid epidemic. With their support, we are bringing efficiency and transparency to a fragmented system while supporting treatment decisions for evidence-based therapies.
We have been fortunate to work with highly respected and innovative thought leaders that are committed to success.
Shatterproof, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and OpenBeds, an Appriss Health company, launched an online Addiction Treatment Needs Assessment. The online resource features a set of consumer-friendly, expert-developed questions to assess the needs of a person with addiction and produce guidance on the type of treatment that is most appropriate for them. The free resource is available nationwide and comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated an already fragmented addiction treatment system in the U.S.
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The thirteen-question assessment is available on treatmentconnection.com, an OpenBeds solution, www.Shatterproof.org/addictionassessment and www.asam.org for individuals or their loved ones to complete. It will be embedded within ATLAS, a new addiction treatment locator, analysis and standards website that will be available later this year. It is embedded at the OpenBeds Treatment Connection locator, a free portal which enables those seeking behavioral health treatment for themselves or others, to anonymously search for nearby providers, evaluate the type of care needed, and submit confidential online referral inquiries to appropriate treatment providers vetted by the state.
The President has declared that the opioid epidemic is a national public health emergency. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that more than 67,300 people in the U.S. died from drug overdose deaths in 2018 and is showing no sign of slowing down.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), substance misuse produces over $166 billion in healthcare costs and strains hospital capacity. And while drug addiction, according to the CDC and NIDA, is a ‘treatable chronic disease’, and treatment is as effective and sustainable as that for other chronic diseases such as diabetes. Unfortunately, the gap between the need for substance use treatment and receiving treatment in the United States is widening.
In addition, substance use disorder treatment referrals are not a part of the medical care continuum because screening and referrals require a lot of manual work on the part of time-pressed providers.
We believe that improving systems to enhance communication across organizations, patient referrals may be more easily completed, improving access to care and expanding the use of appropriate treatment for patients in need.
Gaps in the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Referral Process: Provider Perceptions
The demand for substance use disorder treatment is increasing, fueled by the opioid epidemic and the Affordable Care Act mandate to treat substance use disorders. The increased demand for treatment, however, is not being met by a corresponding increase in access to or availability of treatment.
This whitepaper focuses specifically on the treatment referral process, which has been identified as one of the key barriers to timely and effective treatment. Difficulties in referral to substance use disorder treatment are examined through the lens of providers who make referrals and individuals who work in substance use disorder facilities.
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