Louisiana has been chosen as one of a select group of states to partner with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending addiction, on the development and implementation of a rating system for addiction treatment programs. The state joins Massachusetts and New York, both of which have joined the pilot project in recent weeks.

During the 24-month pilot program, Louisiana’s Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) will work with Shatterproof to align the rating system with ongoing initiatives in Louisiana to improve the quality of addiction treatment by ensuring care is delivered using evidence-based best practices.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with Shatterproof on setting a standard across all of addiction treatment. This system will align behind evidence-based care and allow us to treat addiction with the same effectiveness as other illnesses,” said Karen Stubbs, OBH assistant secretary. “Information about quality of care will finally be available to consumers, providers, referral sources, policymakers and payers. It’s a long-overdue revolution for the field of behavioral health.”

“As the state provider association, ensuring access to care is always a top priority. Our clients, along with their families and loved ones, should have quick access to information about the quality of care available to them. This is especially true for the substance use disorder field, where the choices can seem daunting,” said Mike Martyn, president of the Coalition of Louisiana Addiction Service and Prevention Providers (CLASPP). “We appreciate the Office of Behavioral Health’s willingness to include providers in the dialogue regarding this rating system and we look forward to partnering with the state and Shatterproof to create a system that is meaningful and beneficial for everyone.” 

In the past year, Louisiana has taken several important steps to address the opioid epidemic, including passing legislation to limit first-time opioid prescriptions for acute pain and mandate provider reporting to the Prescription Monitoring Program, implementing a standing order for naloxone to allow pharmacists to dispense without a prescription, and increasing provider education on evidence-based best practices for prescribing of opioids and appropriate treatment of chronic pain. In December, the state was also awarded a State Opioid Response grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).

“Louisiana is proud to partner with Shatterproof on this pioneering rating system for addiction treatment,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “We are committed to building a robust behavioral health system for all Louisianans and are continually looking for ways to expand upon existing practices. Our participation in this pilot program will help us to develop a high-quality addiction treatment program not only for Louisiana, but for the rest of the nation.”

Shatterproof Rating System

The Shatterproof Rating System will be piloted in select states over two years with the goal of transforming the quality of addiction treatment based on eight core Principles of Care. They include universal screening for substance use disorders (SUDs) across medical settings; rapid access to appropriate SUD care; personalized diagnosis, assessment and treatment; continuing long-term outpatient care; concurrent, coordinated care for physical and mental health; access to fully trained behavioral health professionals; access to FDA-approved medications; and access to non-medical recovery support services.

The pilot objectives align with several of the recommendations made recently by an expert panel convened by the Louisiana Department of Health, in particular the goals to increase access to effective treatment and establish a statewide quality improvement system for treatment providers. The pilot will apply public rating system best practices to the addiction treatment field by measuring the evidence-based elements of care delivery shown to improve patient outcomes. This information will be gathered from three sources: insurance claims, provider surveys, and consumer experience.

“The approach was developed based on the learnings from existing healthcare rating systems as well as public-facing systems that rate products and services ranging from restaurants to refrigerators. In healthcare, where this information can literally be the difference between life and death, the public can access data on hospitals, nursing homes and many other provider types, but not yet addiction treatment services,” said Samantha Arsenault, director of National Treatment Quality Initiatives at Shatterproof. “By collecting this data and making it transparent, we aim to align market forces with evidence-based addiction treatment.”  The Rating System will make information about the quality of care available to consumers, providers, referral sources, policymakers and payers.

Upon successful completion of the two-year pilot, sustained implementation will continue in the pilot states in addition to a phased expansion across the country.