Catalyst for Payment Reform

Press Release: Catalyst for Payment Reform Launches New Employer-Purchaser Resource to Combat Substance Use Disorders Including Alcohol and Opioids

CPR Launches New Employer-Purchaser Resource to Combat Substance Use Disorders Including Alcohol and Opioids

BERKELEY, Calif. – April 30, 2019 – To help employers and other health care purchasers address the challenge of substance use disorders (SUDs) among employees and their families, Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) has released a How-to Guide, Tackling Substance Use Disorders.

“A quick scan of the news highlights the prevalence and impact of substance use disorders on the health and productivity of the workforce and communities,” said Suzanne Delbanco, PhD, executive director of CPR. “Given the impact on health care costs, workplace safety, absenteeism, presenteeism and disability for employers, we’ve created this guide to help purchasers manage this growing challenge through analyzing their data and through the design of their health insurance benefits, health care provider networks and provider payment.”

Substance use disorder is a chemical addiction that can result from an individual’s dependence on substances such as alcohol, cannabis, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics, stimulants, and tobacco.

Free for employers and other health care purchasers, this comprehensive guide offers recommendations and tangible steps for managing SUDs including:

  • Analyzing data to gain insights into the prevalence and impact of SUDs on an employer’s population.
  • Designing benefits to encourage treatment such as implementing medication assisted treatment and/or a center of excellence program.
  • Identifying high-value providers that offer a holistic set of services and creating incentives for employees and their family members to select these providers.
  • Considering the standardization of quality measurement, niche vendors with innovative solutions, and new payment models as options to pilot and implement.

These recommendations and steps came out of a small working group of CPR members who participated in a collaborative formed by CPR to address the challenges posed by substance use disorders among the populations for whom they buy benefits. CPR’s diverse membership includes large private employers, state Medicaid, employee and retiree agencies and other types of health care purchasers and major benefit consulting firms.

About Catalyst for Payment Reform

Catalyst for Payment Reform is an independent, non-profit organization working on behalf of large employers and other health care purchasers to catalyze employers, public purchasers and others to implement strategies that produce higher-value health care and improve the functioning of the health care marketplace. For more information visit: and follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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