Just as the name implies, a Center of Excellence (CoE) designation in an addiction treatment provider ensures the treatment center will provide exemplary service in all aspects of addiction care, from treatment to technology. Qualifying as a CoE demonstrates that a facility is an industry leader for providing the highest quality of clinical care, using evidence-based and emerging promising practices, with substantiated positive outcomes.
We are living in an unfortunate time where addiction and addiction-related deaths have reached an all-time high. Many have seen this as an opportunity “get into the addiction business,” offering substandard treatment services in a resort-like setting.
While these accommodations may be appealing to some, achieving sobriety and building a foundation in recovery that can last a lifetime should be first and foremost.
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE (COE) ATTRIBUTES TO SET YOU APART
Following are some attributes that a CoE would possess that sets them apart from other addiction treatment providers:
- Achieving national accreditation
- Maximizing reimbursement opportunities
- Employing highly trained and dedicated staff
- Adhering to evidence-based and promising practices
- Providing fully integrated and seamless person-centered care across the entire continuum
- Demonstrating cultural competence and accommodation to diverse populations
- Integrating workforce development and job training opportunities with increased access to affordable recovery housing
- Providing continuing education and training opportunities for staff
- Incorporating the latest technology and data entry systems for tracking outcomes and full collaboration of interdisciplinary teams
ACHIEVING NATIONAL ACCREDITATION
Currently, in many states, there are minimal requirements for opening a treatment center, with no obligation for becoming an accredited entity. However, a CoE would be a state licensed, nationally accredited provider. Achieving accreditation with either the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) ensures adherence to internationally accepted standards and demonstrates to those you serve that your facility is committed to the highest quality of treatment care and services. Accreditation is also an invaluable tool for recruiting the most qualified care providers essential for maintaining exceptional treatment standards. Further, accreditation is often a condition of reimbursement for certain insurers, including Medicaid and commercial payers.
MAXIMIZING REIMBURSEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Insurance payers are rapidly moving toward a value-based reimbursement system, requiring positive treatment outcomes to receive optimal reimbursement rates for services performed. Value-based reimbursement is a form of shared risk between the provider and the managed care organization (MCO). An CoE will require data tracking and outcomes analysis demonstrating that increased access to care and additional revenues result in higher efficacy of treatment and outcomes and reduced recidivism to the treatment system. Such exemplary financial models are possible when payers and providers collaborate, demonstrating the ability to replicate the treatment program throughout the region, thereby expanding access to care and relieving some of the current strains on the present system.
EMPLOYING HIGHLY TRAINED AND DEDICATED STAFF
One of the most important qualities of a CoE is the ability to employ highly trained and dedicated staff at all levels of service. From the program director to the clinicians to the outreach coordinator, it is crucial for all positions to be staffed by highly competent individuals dedicated to delivering exceptional quality care. Further, leadership must commit to training and education as a continuous process to ensure program staff are well trained in the most effective approaches to care and learning about new modalities of care that can benefit patients. In addition, strong, competent administrative and clinical leadership is key to success and in maintaining fidelity to evidence-based and promising practices in SUD and behavioral health treatment.
PROVIDING FULLY INTEGRATED AND SEAMLESS PERSON-CENTER CARE ACROSS THE ENTIRE CONTINUUM
Co-occurring disorders, in which an individual with a substance use disorder also has a co-occurring mental health disorder, are very common. Research shows that using an integrated approach addressing both conditions at the same time is most beneficial for a patient. Unfortunately, our current treatment system is deficient in continuity of service, creating gaps in treatment as patients transition between the various levels of care. When gaps exist, the incidence of relapse increases, so it is crucial to bridge these gaps, allowing for a seamless progression through the system of care. While offering addiction treatment services across the entire continuum and providing every service needed would be ideal, it is not always a possibility. However, a CoE can provide treatment options that bridge these gaps through well-connected associations with other trusted service providers.
ADHERING TO EVIDENCE-BASED AND PROMISING PRACTICES
Adherence to evidence-based practices (EBPs) is crucial to maintaining CoE quality of care. Currently, there is no monitoring system for correct utilization of and adherence to EBPs. Therefore, without a systematic approach for reviewing these practices and providing ongoing training to ensure fidelity, treatment services may not produce the strongest outcomes possible. Further, in cases where EBPs are not available for certain SUD and co-occurring mental health disorders, promising practices can be identified and provided under close clinical supervision. In these instances, promising practices are closely monitored and evaluated to begin building an evidence base.
DEMONSTRATING CULTURAL COMPETENCE AND ACCOMMODATION TO DIVERSE POPULATIONS
Equity of treatment is imperative in all aspects of service, and especially at the CoE level of care. All staff and all services offered should be accommodating to diverse populations, including people of color and non-English speaking people. A lack of minority providers and bilingual therapists make it more difficult for people of all backgrounds to establish trust and feel welcome when seeking treatment. A CoE will ensure accommodation of these individuals and create an outreach strategy that is all inclusive, specifically targeting diverse and underserved populations.
INTEGRATING WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND JOB TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES WITH INCREASED ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE RECOVERY HOUSING
Aftercare is a critical aspect of recovery provided by a CoE that allows patients to return to their communities with a clearly defined continuum care and with vital recovery supports in place. Patients should be able to have input in the types of workforce integration opportunities afforded them including education, skill building, mentoring, and residential recovery housing options that best suit their needs. Further, integration of peer recovery coaches throughout all levels of care and programming provide added support necessary for maintaining sobriety.
PROVIDING CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STAFF
It is essential for CoE leadership to commit to providing ongoing training and quality control efforts, with a commitment to ensuring the wellness of staff and providing opportunities for professional and personal development. Due to the rapid changes in the field of addiction treatment and improvements in technology, companies need to prepare for these changes by investing in the skills development of their staff. In addition, providing opportunities for training to aid in professional advancement for staff is important in hiring and maintaining highly qualified employees. When employees feel they are valued, their satisfaction will be evident in their productivity.
INCORPORATING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY AND DATA ENTRY SYSTEMS FOR TRACKING OUTCOMES AND FULL COLLABORATION OF INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAMS
Incorporating innovative technology to enhance the secure sharing of information between interdisciplinary teams and service providers is essential to providing exceptional care for patients and establishing a holistic plan of treatment. A CoE uses state-of-the-art technology and electronic health records as a means of accessing up-to-date and complete patient information that is readily available to all team service providers. This enhanced data sharing capability is also very effective at improving patient and provider communication, as well as providing an effective system for tracking outcomes and recovery progress.
ESTABLISHING A CENTER OF EXCELLENCE | ASCENSION RECOVERY SERVICES
Ascension Recovery Services has been recognized as an industry leader in program development consulting services and clinical recovery services and is dedicated to all aspects of addiction recovery. Addiction and addiction-related deaths in our country have reached epidemic levels.
The comprehensive support afforded by a CoE is invaluable in providing the highest quality care available in addiction treatment services. Call today to discuss how Ascension can help you develop your Center of Excellence.