The NAATP Foundation for Recovery Science Convenes Treatment Program Collective
On November 30, 2022, leaders from over 60 nationally recognized addiction treatment facilities participated in a historic gathering of programs serving as data sites for the NAATP Foundation for Recovery Science and Education (FoRSE) Addiction Treatment Outcomes Program. This seminal gathering was the first opportunity since the program’s founding in 2020 to review the large pool of patient data aggregated to describe the field’s patient composition and treatment.
The FoRSE Program is a science collaborative in which treatment programs of all sizes, types, models, and payment structures share de-identified treatment outcome data in a centralized data repository to build consensus on measures that inform quality care of the chronic illness of Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
The data repository now consists of data from over 115,000 unique patient episodes from all levels of care, including inpatient detoxification, residential treatment, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and recovery residence/recovery support services. Data collected include demographics, social determinants of health, length of stay, type of service, SUD medications, and patient-reported outcomes including substance use and health consequences, craving, mental health symptoms, recovery capital, and post-discharge functioning and quality of life.
Treatment centers participating in the FoRSE Program are located across 24 US States and have between 1 and 102 years of experience treating addiction. While most (76%) of providers are NAATP members, 24% are not, as the FoRSE Program doesn’t require membership for participation. Of those that submitted facility data to date, about half of participants are not-for-profit organizations, and half are for-profit. The most common services provided across sites are intensive outpatient and residential. Most participating centers accept private pay and private insurance, and at least a quarter accept Medicare/Medicaid and other forms of public funding.
These treatment centers are sharing data through Application Programming Interface (API), made possible in large part by FoRSE Technology Partners. To date, four electronic medical record companies (Kipu, Sigmund, BestNotes, and Lightning Step) and two outcomes measurement companies (Petree Consulting, Inc. and ERPHealth) are actively connected to the FoRSE API, and several treatment centers have created an API plug-in to share data with FoRSE directly.
Prior to the November 30 meeting, FoRSE provided each active data site with a Data Inventory Report Card, which summarized the completeness and accuracy of the data they submitted. These reports were developed in partnership with Dr. Antoinette Giedzinska and Dr. Nick Hayes of the Research Institute of Cumberland Heights, who also serve as advisors to the FoRSE Outcomes Program.
FoRSE Board member, Dr. Corrie Vilsaint of the Recovery Research Institute and Harvard Medical School facilitated discussion among providers and expressed excitement about the possibilities available through the program, including an enhanced ability to demonstrate value to stakeholders, to compare outcomes with other treatment programs, and to engage in research studies examining the effectiveness of care. Discussion also covered strategies to maximize post-discharge survey response rates, identify measures that are both clinically valuable and of interest to external stakeholders, and build a culture of measurement among organization staff and patients. Participants later reported that during the meeting, they felt a sense of collaboration and hope for the future of recovery science that they have not felt before or elsewhere. “This is a remarkable step for the field of SUD treatment that will drive better outcomes for our patients,” said Dr. Annie Peters, Executive Director of FoRSE. “Through collaborative science, we have the opportunity to have a real impact on how addiction healthcare is delivered, measured, and perceived.”
The FoRSE Outcomes Program requires no fee to participate and welcomes new provider participants. Inquiries are welcome through the FoRSE website. Next steps for FoRSE include publishing an annual summary report, delivering confidential site-specific reports to participating providers, developing research partnerships, and onboarding more Technology Partners to broaden participation in the program.