NAATP FoRSE Founding Donor
A recovery science foundation that La Hacienda Treatment Center helped create is using data, collaborative research, and education to help addiction treatment providers better serve millions of Americans suffering from substance use disorders. A first of its kind in the industry, the Foundation for Recovery Science and Education (FoRSE) demonstrates the value of addiction treatment and examines differences and outcomes across levels and systems of care, and across patient demographics. In 2021, La Hacienda joined with other members of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) in the Founders Campaign to contribute toward startup of the non-profit foundation.
Addiction Treatment Outcomes Program
FoRSE’s Addiction Treatment Outcomes Program is already helping treatment providers use patient outcome data to inform and improve clinical and operational practices, according to Annie Peters, NAATP Director of Research and Education and Executive Director of FoRSE.
As of spring 2022, 47 treatment facilities across the U.S. are participating. These data sites share de-identified data (includes nothing that would identify a patient or their relatives, employers, or household members) about:
- patients they treat
- services they provide
- outcomes reported by patients
The data comes from each provider’s existing electronic medical record (EMR) or other data collection technology. The process involves little or no action by the providers and is produced at no charge.
Demonstrates How Programs Serve Patients
Participating in FoRSE allows treatment providers to more effectively demonstrate how their services impact their patients from treatment through post-discharge. This proof of effectiveness helps destigmatize addiction and can lead to creation of public policy that helps people with SUDs receive quality care. To streamline the process, FoRSE is developing active partnerships directly with companies that produce EMRs to produce technical “plug-ins” for the treatment providers, providing de-identification and data-sharing functions at no cost. As of May 2022, the unique FoRSE database contained more than 57,000 unique patient episodes and nearly 150,000 surveys, including data from facilities that receive public funding, take insurance, and are self-pay.
FoRSE will deliver benchmarking reports to participating providers at the end of 2022.
Program is Inclusive by Design
The foundation is also tracking racial and gender diversity. When it was being formed, NAATP leadership said it was important that FoRSE incorporate NAATP’s broader commitment to equity as set forth in its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program. Facilities participating in the FoRSE program are in located in 17 states and their services span the full continuum of addiction treatment.
Honored at NAATP National Conference
La Hacienda Treatment Center and the other FoRSE founding donors were honored at NAATP’s 43rd annual national conference May 7-9, 2022, in San Diego. During that annual gathering the foundation revealed early data on its treatment measures and outcomes work.
“The maxim that you can’t improve what you can’t measure is a reality under which we must operate,” said Dr. Peters. “It is our objective at FoRSE to do just that: measure and improve addiction treatment quality and prove our field’s value.”
“We could not be more pleased with the progress. Already we are in possession of more data that anyone has previously collected across systems as we have,” said NAATP CEO Marvin Ventrell. “This fall we will be presenting early data reports to our data sites, enabling them to better understand what is happening with their patients.”
“Together we will advance the science of addiction treatment and save hundreds of thousands of lives.”
Executive Director Cites Need for Data
“Our country is sicker; our workforce is exhausted, and staffing issues plague the workplace. Yet we are needed more than ever,” said Ventrell of the treatment industry.
NAATP members effectively serve more than 100,000 patients annually, saving lives and placing patients and families on a path of lifelong recovery.
La Hacienda’s Executive Director Art VanDivier concurred, giving Ventrell credit for the foundation’s creation.
“For years treatment centers across the nation have made generous claims about their patient’s success rates. For as many years, insurance companies, the media, and family members seeking SUD treatment for loved ones have asked what criteria is used to document advertised outcome success.”
Took Action in the Middle of a Pandemic
“NAATP members have asked for a reliable third party to take up the task of gathering measurable data using reliable methods and making the results available in a central data base. In the middle of COVID, when no one in the industry thought is wise to step into a new venture, NAATP CEO Ventrell threw down the gauntlet and said we can’t wait any longer and FoRSE was born.”
“Individuals looking for freedom from addiction have the right to know the variety of treatments available today and what outcomes result from each of them. NAATP represents over 1000 treatment centers nationwide. Imagine collecting the outcomes of all the patients from those centers; FoRSE is going to make that a reality.”
What Does FoRSE Measure?
Working with research advisors, the FoRSE staff identified a limited number of data points and standardized tools that are brief and commonly used by addiction treatment providers. These cover a breadth of SUD recovery outcomes, can be used at multiple time points, and are sensitive to change. This process enabled FoRSE to provide treatment programs with confidential reports comparing their patients’ outcomes with a combination of reports from other programs. These can be used to improve treatment quality and to demonstrate compliance with accreditation and reimbursement standards.
“As we progress with this collaborative work,” said FoRSE Executive Director Peters, we will be able to demonstrate the value of addiction treatment and examine differences in outcomes across levels and systems of care and across patient demographics.”
“We will better understand how social determinants of health impact our patients, and how to structure interventions to help them build recovery capital. Ultimately, demonstration of treatment effectiveness can influence public opinion and public policy to reduce stigma and increase access to quality care.”
Follows HIPPAA Privacy Standards
FoRSE requires that participating providers us the HIPAA Safe Harbor Method to deidentify their data. This means they must remove 18 HIPPAA direct and indirect identifiers. These include individual names, addresses, contact information, medical record numbers, and dates directly connected with the individual.
NAATP Created by Addiction Treatment Providers
Prior to 1978, there was no organization representing the interests of private-sector addiction treatment providers. This lack of advocacy for the industry was especially an issue when it came to addressing uniform insurance benefits. More than a dozen treatment program directors gathered in the late 1970s to discuss establishing an association of private, non-profit alcoholism treatment programs. These meetings of industry leadership led to a formal proposal in January 1978 to form NAATP to provide peer support for treatment providers and services.
History Parallels Profession’s Development
NAATP’s history since then has paralleled the evolution of the addiction treatment profession, from the shifting attitudes and policies toward the disease of addiction in the 1970s, to the financial challenges brought on by managed care in the 1990s, to the incredible industry growth and ethical pitfalls during the opioid crisis of the 2010s. La Hacienda Treatment Center has been an active supporter of NAATP from the beginning. Then Executive Director Frank Sadlack played a key role in NAATP leadership in the 1990s and his successor, Executive Director VanDivier, has continued that role. He serves on the NAATP board of directors and was board chair of the national association from 2018 to 2020.
Addiction Service Profession’s Vision, Voice & Thought
For its member providers, NAATP had been the addiction service profession’s vision, voice, and thought leader since its creation. The national association works for quality assurance, leadership, inclusion, and professional standards and does advocacy for services that support addiction treatment providers and recovery services. In addition to its services for member providers, the national association can help individuals seeking access to care centers. Persons seeking substance abuse treatment facilities near them or in a particular area can search NAATP treatment providers on the national association’s website.
Addiction Treatment at La Hacienda
La Hacienda Treatment Center has been an industry leader in caring for people suffering from alcohol and substance abuse for 50 years. We work to heal mind, body, and spirit in hope of securing for each patient a life free of the pain caused by these disorders. Adults 18 and older are admitted to our treatment program following a thorough assessment. Our committed professional staff of doctors, nurses and clinicians treat each patient according to their unique medical and psychological needs. Patients meet with a case counselor in both individual and group settings, hear education talks about the disease and drugs, are introduced to the 12 steps, and participate in therapeutic activities. Among other services offered, an excellent Family Program provides a free workshop to relatives who wish to learn more about how addiction impacts their family member and how they can better communicate with and support that person. Therapy groups also focus on the special interests of young adults, licensed professionals, women, and LGBTQ persons. Prior to discharge, a continuing care counselor works with each patient to help plan which recovery services they will utilize, such as sober living, an outpatient counselor, or 12-step program where they are going next.
Phone Today for Assistance
If you, a family member, or a friend need help with an addiction or drug abuse condition, phone (800) 749-6160 today and talk with one of our on-campus admissions specialists. They will answer your questions and begin the admission process, or help you locate addiction treatment providers who share our treatment philosophy and have been vetted by our staff. La Hacienda is certified by the Joint Commission and licensed by the State of Texas.