National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers Launches Robust Quality Assurance Resource Designed to Raise the Standard in Addiction Treatment

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Addiction treatment outcomes measurement and consumer marketing best practices among key focus areas of rollout at 2019 National Conference.

The Quality Assurance Guidebook was created to set a strong standard for treatment service delivery, below which no provider should fall, and at which level proficient services will be delivered.

The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) today announced the release of a foundational set of resources focused on standardizing quality assurance and core competency implementation across its member facilities. Key components include The Addiction Treatment Provider Quality Assurance Guidebook and the NAATP Addiction Treatment Outcomes Measurement Toolkit, which, together with the NAATP Code of Ethics Version 2.5, form the foundation of NAATP’s Quality Assurance Initiative. These resources are designed to promote best practices, unify the field, aid in educating and protecting consumers, and ultimately, maximize addiction treatment efficacy and value delivery within the healthcare system.

Speaking to the industry’s need for operational guidance, NAATP executive director, Marvin Ventrell, stated, “We, as an addiction treatment profession, are young and rapidly evolving in comparison to other healthcare fields. As with the treatment of any disease, it is necessary that we define, implement, and measure efficacy through the lens of core competencies. Our viability as a profession, moreover our effectiveness for our patients, demands this.”

The Quality Assurance Guidebook was created to set a strong standard for treatment service delivery, below which no provider should fall, and at which level proficient services will be delivered. It identifies the core competencies of addiction treatment service through the nine categories of Operations; Admissions and Patient Screening; Employment, Training, and Credentialing; Billing; Discharge and Continuing Care; Outcomes Measures; Community Engagement, Public Relations, and Public Policy; Marketing, Advertising, and Visibility; and Ethics. The Quality Assurance Guidebook has been released in Beta format for NAATP member comment at naatp.org/sites/naatp.org/files/NAATP%20QA%20Guidebook%20Beta.pdf.

Ventrell continued, “During its 41-year existence, NAATP has nurtured the evolution of addiction treatment from a small cottage industry to a larger professional healthcare discipline. The release of these new quality assurance resources is an important next step in that evolution. It identifies and provides implementation strategy for the core competencies of addiction treatment program operation, thereby empowering addiction treatment providers with clear direction for the proficient and ethical delivery of addiction treatment services.”

With the Outcomes Measurement Toolkit, NAATP addresses the need for a nationwide standard for treatment providers to collect data through common outcome measures, which has heretofore been lacking in the industry. The Toolkit is a robust and comprehensive set of protocols, surveys, and best practices developed following a three-year Outcomes Pilot Program study, spearheaded by NAATP and conducted by the OMNI Institute at eight substance use disorder treatment facilities across the United States. Recovery outcomes are described by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) definition of recovery — “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential."

“The Outcomes Measurement Toolkit is a critical step in promoting thorough data collection around substance use disorder treatment outcomes," said Holen Hirsh, Ph.D., director of public and behavioral health at the OMNI Institute. "Through the pilot study, we were able to test the data collection process across providers with different client populations, clinical approaches, and facility sizes, and identified a protocol that could work across each unique setting. Further, through the data we are able to examine common factors that may predict success in treatment. As the nation continues to face the opioid epidemic, having standards such as these is essential to better understand and treat substance use disorder.” The Outcomes Toolkit can be accessed at naatp.org/sites/naatp.org/files/NAATP_Newsletter_Outcomes_FINAL.pdf.

Sessions on the Quality Assurance Core Competencies and Outcomes Measurement Toolkit will be offered during the NAATP 41st Annual Addiction Treatment Leadership Conference being held in Washington, D.C., May 5-7, 2019. For more information, visit naatp.org/training/national-addiction-leadership-conference.

The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) has been the addiction service profession’s vision, voice, and thought leader since 1978. NAATP is a nonprofit professional membership society and trade association of top treatment providers throughout the addiction treatment continuum of care. NAATP supports its members by providing clinical and operational resources as well as law and policy advocacy. NAATP’s service as a convening body brings the industry together to promote collegiality and the dissemination of best practices. Learn more at naatp.org.

The OMNI Institute conducts social science research, evaluation, and capacity building with nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies focused on addressing society’s most pressing social challenges. For over 20 years, OMNI has partnered with stakeholders and providers across the spectrum of substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery to conduct research and support implementation of best practices. We understand that when clients and community stakeholders can access the answers they need and have the capacity to act on it, they can create a brighter, more equitable future for all. Learn more at omni.org.

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Kayla Huett

Kayla Huett
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