Jacksonville, Fla - June 8, 2021
Florida Blue, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan of Florida, and New Directions Behavioral Health, a leading coordinated behavioral health care organization, announced a collaboration with Shatterproofa national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families. Through their collaboration, the companies will offer Floridians access to ATLAS®, an easy-to-use database that highlights high-quality addiction treatment options available in the state.
ATLAS® evaluates addiction treatment providers’ use of evidence-based best practices, and publicly displays this information to support those in need and their loved ones in navigating to appropriate, quality care. Individuals can search for and compare treatment options using criteria that are important to them – such as location, particular services offered, and insurance accepted. ATLAS® also allows patients to provide feedback on their treatment experience. The platform displays information on all treatment providers for any substance use disorder in a state, including opioid use disorder.
In addition to including a public search function, the platform also offers secure access to critical data for state policymakers, providers, and insurance payers to further drive improvements to the addiction treatment space, fueled by increased accountability and transparency.
Drug overdoses have reached an all-time high in the U.S. Provisional data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows overdose deaths rising during the pandemic. According to the data, 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period. These staggering statistics further emphasize why individuals and families need a trusted resource to locate quality addiction treatment and care.
“The overlap of the pandemic and the opioid crisis has caused unprecedented challenges for families and communities across our state,” said Dr. Nick Dewan, vice president of behavioral health for Florida Blue. “We are committed to transforming the quality of addiction treatment, improving transparency for health care consumers and ensuring Floridians have access to the type of care they need.”
“It is now more critical than ever, given the profound uptick in overdoses and the impact that COVID-19 has had on addiction and mental health, that people are able to access a trusted, free resource when in search of quality substance use disorder treatment for themselves or a loved one,” says Jen Velez, Chief Impact Officer, Shatterproof. “Trust is everything. We know that it can be a confusing, scary time when someone is seeking help, and we want to ensure that the information available to find quality care is trusted, unbiased, and meets the person’s needs.”
Currently, ATLAS® uses facility-level data. During the 12-month implementation period in Florida, Shatterproof will inform stakeholders and the general community of the ATLAS® platform and will host workgroups to solicit feedback from providers and other interested parties. Shatterproof will also work with Florida Blue, New Directions, and other groups throughout the state to encourage treatment facilities to submit data to ATLAS®.
“The addiction crisis isn’t going away anytime soon without serious intervention,” said Ann O’Grady, Chief Clinical Officer, New Directions. “One of the most significant roadblocks people struggling with substance use disorders are facing right now is simply access to quality care. If we can get an easy-to-use, trustworthy platform in front of people, we’re taking a big step toward addressing that barrier and connecting people to the treatment they need.”
The collaboration with Shatterproof is just one of many initiatives that demonstrates Florida Blue’s commitment to fighting the opioid crisis. In 2017, Florida Blue became the first insurer in the state and one of only a few insurers nationwide to remove OxyContin from its formulary.
Florida Blue and its Foundation are among the largest financial contributors to the fight against the opioid crisis in Florida. Since 2018, the Florida Blue Foundation has provided nearly $7.5 million in funding to organizations on the front lines, working across the state to give aid and support to impacted individuals and families.
In addition, Florida Blue worked with several leaders and organizations to help launch and expand Project Opioid, a statewide effort to systematically confront the problem of opioid abuse.
Florida is one of four new states partnering with Shatterproof on the implementation of the addiction treatment quality measurement and locator platform, ATLAS®. ATLAS® is available in six states already and aims to expand nationwide in the coming years.
About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, the leading health insurer in Florida, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for nearly 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 5 million health care members across the state. In total, Florida Blue and its affiliated companies serve 16 million people in 29 states. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About New Directions Behavioral Health
New Directions improves access to quality behavioral healthcare through a comprehensive suite of coordinated behavioral health services. The company reaches over 15 million individuals across the nation, in partnership with health plans, employers and higher education institutions. Leveraging more than 25 years of experience, New Directions delivers an integrated approach to whole-person care with a commitment to innovation that puts the member first. Learn more at ndbh.com.
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States. Shatterproof harnesses the models of business, the rigor of science and the power of a national movement to create change and save lives through three pillars of work: revolutionizing the addiction treatment system, breaking down addiction-related stigmas and supporting and empowering our communities. To learn more visit www.Shatterproof.org