Adapting Washington Circle Performance Measures for Public Sector Substance Abuse Treatment Systems

Institute for Behavioral Health, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA.
Journal of substance abuse treatment (Impact Factor: 2.9). 09/2008; 36(3):265-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2008.06.008
Source: PubMed


The Washington Circle, a group focused on developing and disseminating performance measures for substance abuse services, developed three such measures for private health plans. In this article, we explore whether these measures are appropriate for meeting measurement goals in the public sector and feasible to calculate in the public sector using data collected for administrative purposes by state and local substance abuse and/or mental health agencies. Working collaboratively, 12 states specified revised measures and 6 states pilot tested them. Two measures were retained from the original specifications: initiation of treatment and treatment engagement. Additional measures were focused on continuity of care after assessment, detoxification, residential or inpatient care. These data demonstrate that state agencies can calculate performance measures from routinely available information and that there is wide variability in these indicators. Ongoing research is needed to examine the reasons for these results, which might include lack of patient interest or commitment, need for quality improvement efforts, or financial issues.

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Available from: Andrea Acevedo, Apr 01, 2014
    • "Furthermore, successful treatment completion data is useful in public health analyses (Alterman, 2001; Garnick et al., 2009). Referral source is associated with treatment success (Arndt, Acion, & White, 2013; Atkinson, Misra, Ryan, & Turner, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines sources of referral for prescription opioid admission to substance use disorder treatment facilities and their relative completion success rates using secondary analysis of an existing data set (Treatment Episode Datasets – Discharge). Five years of data from public and private treatment facilities were extracted for client discharges with no prior treatment (N = 2,909,884). Healthcare professionals account for very few referrals to treatment (<10%). Prescription opioid clients referred into treatment had lower treatment success compared to other substance clients and when referred by healthcare providers had lower success rates (OR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.70 – 0.75) than clients from other referral sources. Fewer treatment referrals for prescription opioid misuse by healthcare providers and lower success rates are significant and timely findings due to the prevalence of prescription opioid misuse. Healthcare providers are well positioned to refer early for prescription opioid misuse and continue support of their patients during treatment.
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    • "Successful treatment completion is a clinically utile outcome measure predicting longer-term outcomes such as criminal involvement and treatment readmission (Evans, Li, & Hser, 2009; Garnick, Lee, Horgan, & Acevedo, 2009; Zarkin, Dunlap, Bray, & Wechsberg, 2002). Successful treatment completion rates can be used to assess national and state-level systems (Alterman, Langenbucher, & Morrison, 2001; Garnick et al., 2009 ). The current study seeks to compare the effect of referral sources on substance abuse successful treatment completion rates between Blacks and Whites. "
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