Catalyst for Payment Reform

Collaborative 5: Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders touch approximately 2 million Americans and about 7 in 10 employers have felt the impact. Employers looking to secure better clinical management of this health care and disability cost driver are exploring access to care issues, as well as evidence-based strategies to treat substance use disorders. As employers and other health care purchasers grapple with substance use disorders they need to be able to develop and roll out immediate and mid-term solutions.

In early 2018, we kicked off Collaborative 5: “Encouraging Evidence-based Treatments for Substance Use Disorders” to help employers explore provider payment methods and benefit and network designs to encourage evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders.


We benefited in hearing from four great participants and an experienced subject matter expert for this Collaborative!

Description of our work

This Collaborative focused on tackling challenges and developing strategies to address substance use disorders. Over the course of 12 months, CPR, a subject matter expert, and Collaborative participants met monthly to discuss the substance use disorder landscape and potential strategies for addressing substance use disorder, including leveraging relevant data, benefit and network design options, and provider payment methods. CPR and its subject matter expert worked with participants to design tailored strategies to help their members with substance use disorders.

Final deliverable

We developed a hands-on resource to help participants implement high-value strategies to drive their members with substance use disorders to evidence-based treatments.  In April of 2019, we released the Tackling Substance Use Disorders How-to-Guide.