Brandeis/Harvard Center and MHN Awarded $1.3 Million Grant to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment

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Joint Project to Investigate Program Access, Utilization and Costs for Enrollees

Managed Health Network, Inc. (MHN), a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc.(NYSE:HNT), announced today it received a $1.3 million grant with Harvard and Brandeis Universities to improve substance abuse treatment services for managed care patients.

The joint five-year research project is designed to investigate how Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), Managed Care and integrated benefit holders access treatment for substance abuse. The main objectives are to describe and compare substance abuse treatment access, utilization patterns and costs for enrollees in integrated versus stand-alone programs. The project also will analyze enrollees’ knowledge, perceptions of service, and the nature and sequence of help-seeking efforts and service use for substance abuse problems.

The project’s methodology will include analysis of existing claims, eligibility and authorization data. MHN will provide data from its system, data analysis, and consultation on interpreting data, and MHN will create analytic files. Analyses will include utilization, performance on Health Plan Employer data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures for substance abuse and treatment costs. In subsequent years, the survey process will examine service utilization and help-seeking patterns, including informal supports, self-help and out-of-plan substance abuse services. A variety of hypotheses have been developed about the type of members who use varying types of services and continue in treatment.

“We're very excited to be participating in this project with such a knowledgeable, nationally recognized partner. We think the research will help us understand the factors that can encourage our members to seek treatment for substance abuse problems,” said Deirdre Hiatt, Ph.D., vice president of Quality Management at MHN. “As a leading national provider of behavioral health care and EAPs, our goal is to help make our system as accessible as possible and to improve health care and the utilization of substance abuse treatment,” Dr. Hiatt added.

“This grant will seed important changes in the delivery of drug abuse treatment services for people who desperately need them,” said Constance Horgan, Ph.D., principal investigator and director of the Center for Behavioral Health at Brandeis University’s Heller School.

“We’re focusing on how to improve the system to better serve this group of patients,” explained Richard Frank, Ph.D., Co-principal Investigator and professor at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy.

With funding by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the project will culminate years of preparation by MHN and the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University.

About MHN

MHN is a comprehensive mental and behavioral health services company that provides clinically-based solutions that drive behavior change. It is one of the largest and oldest providers of managed care and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) in the United States, serving 10 million members. Based in Point Richmond, Calif., MHN provides workplace solutions ranging from EAP and behavioral health to integrated disease management and psychiatric Return-to-Work Programs. MHN's provider network includes more than 40,000 practitioners and 1,200 hospitals and facilities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit

About Health Net

Health Net, Inc. is among the nation’s largest publicly traded managed health care companies. Its mission is to help people be healthy, secure and comfortable. The company’s HMO, POS, insured PPO and government contracts subsidiaries provide health benefits to approximately 6.5 million individuals in 27 states and the District of Columbia through group, individual, Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE programs. Health Net’s subsidiaries also offer managed health care products related to behavioral health and prescription drugs, and offer managed health care product coordination for multi-region employers and administrative services for medical groups and self-funded benefits programs. For more information, please visit

Media contact: Gina Clemente


(510) 620-6444

Media contact: Laura Gardner

Brandeis University

(781) 736-4204

Media contact: John Lacey

Harvard Medical School

(617) 432-0441

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This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of the company listed above.

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