Raising Addiction Treatment Standards: NAATP Establishes Robust Quality Assurance Resource

addiction treatments

The NAATP (National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers), the non-profit trade association and professional membership society for addition treatment providers, has just brought out a much needed, basic set of resources for its member facilities. These comprise means to standardize the implementation of core competency, and quality assurance.

 Main Components

These include the Measurement Toolkit for NAATP Addiction Treatment Outcomes, as well as the Addiction Treatment Provider Quality Assurance Guidebook. These two elements, along with the Code of Ethics Version 2.5, comprise the foundation of the organization’s Quality Assurance Initiative. The aim of these important resources is to: help protect and educate consumers, unify the field, advance best practices, and maximize the efficacy of value delivery and addiction protocols within America’s healthcare system.

Setting Goals

Marvin Ventrell, the organization’s executive director, remarked that: “We, as an addiction treatment profession, are young and rapidly evolving in comparison to other healthcare fields. As with the treatment of any disease, it is necessary that we define, implement, and measure efficacy through the lens of core competencies. Our viability as a profession, moreover our effectiveness for our patients, demands this” .

Quality Assurance Guidebook

This was produced in order to deliver a robust standard of treatment provision. It shows a level that all providers should maintain in order to guarantee patients good service. The guide specifies nine categories of operations, and as such, puts a spotlight on the basic abilities of  addiction treatment service.

These nine categories include: ethics; visibility, advertising and marketing; public policy, public relations and community engagement; outcomes measures; discharge and continuing care; billing; employment, training, and credentialing; admissions and patient screening; and operations.

The Outcomes Measurement Toolkit

This initiative calls on the need for a countrywide standard for treatment providers. It incorporates collecting information via popular outcome measures, something which until now, has been bereft within the industry. The Toolkit comprises a comprehensive, strong set of best practices,  surveys and protocols, which have been formed as the result of a Outcomes Pilot Program study which ran for three years.

It was spearheaded by the NAATP and the OMNI Institute, and involved eight US facilities dealing with substance use disorder. The US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services describes recovery outcomes as: “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” – Positive outcomes that will certainly be advanced by this excellent initiative.

An Evolutionary Next Step

Ventrell noted that: “During its 41-year existence, NAATP has nurtured the evolution of addiction treatment. The release of these new quality assurance resources is an important next step, as it identifies and provides implementation strategy for the core competencies of addiction treatment program operation, thereby empowering addiction treatment providers with clear direction for the proficient and ethical delivery of addiction treatment services”.