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ATLAS Launches to Help People Find High Quality, Appropriate Addiction Treatment

After a two-year pilot, the online platform is now available in six states 

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the U.S., and RTI International, a nonprofit research institute with leading expertise in health care quality measurement and substance use disorder services, announced Tuesday the launch of an online platform to help people find quality addiction treatment. The platform, called ATLAS™ and available at www.TreatmentATLAS.org provides quality metrics for addiction treatment facilities in six states: Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and West Virginia.

“Individuals seeking addiction treatment have lacked information to select the best programs to meet their needs,” said Julie Seibert, PhD, Senior Research Public Health Analyst at RTI. “ATLAS begins to change that by giving individuals information on whether programs are offering recommended services and following recommended practices, as well as information on patients’ experiences at those programs.”

RTI experts, led by Seibert and Tami Mark, PhD, participated alongside other experts in the addiction treatment field to help guide the selection of the quality measures and the measure data sources, supported Shatterproof’s creation and implementation of the data collection platforms, tested the measures for reliability and validity, analyzed the measures for public reporting, and created the website that displays the measures. The measures are based on three data sources: Medicaid claims data, a patient experience questionnaire, and a treatment facility survey. Shatterproof and RTI conducted an extensive process to vet measures with feedback from experts, patients, families, providers, Medicaid programs, behavioral health agencies, and commercial payers.

“Quality measures are a critical tool that providers, governments, and insurers use to guide quality improvement efforts. Such a tool is sorely needed in addiction treatment where the quality of care varies widely across the industry,” said Tami Mark, PhD, Senior Director of Behavioral Health Quality Measurement at RTI. “Public facing quality measures have been available for decades for nursing homes, hospitals, and most other types of health care settings. Finally, they are being launched for addiction treatment.”

By democratizing data, ATLAS enables providers to conduct quality improvement processes and provides the backbone for system reforms by healthcare payers, such as Medicaid, employers and insurers. State officials and health plans will be able to use ATLAS data to target policy change and disseminate resources to improve the quality of addiction treatment.

“When my son Brian needed addiction treatment, my family agonized trying to find him the right care. It was impossible to know who to trust. Some programs helped Brian, and others took advantage of him. Since starting Shatterproof though, I’ve witnessed stakeholders across the addiction treatment sector come together to change this,” shared Shatterproof Founder and CEO Gary Mendell. “ATLAS will give families the trustworthy information that my family never had and will help put more people on the path to recovery. This is a tide change in the addiction world and would not have been possible without the hard work and support of so many.”

To read a recent study from RTI researchers on tracking the quality of addiction treatment over time, visit RTI Press.

To learn more about RTI’s work to improve the quality of addiction treatment, click here.

About RTI International
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach — one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.rti.org.

About Shatterproof
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the course of the addiction crisis in America. Shatterproof is focused on ensuring substance use disorder treatment is based upon proven research and ending the stigma of addiction. The organization advocates for changes to federal and state policy, payer reform, treatment quality assessment, and provides public education through online programs.