According to experts, Measurement-Based Care (MBC) is widely regarded as the gold standard in treating addictions. A compelling story in the Orange County Business Journal shows that only around 20% of doctors adapt an MBC strategy when caring for patients with substance use disorders when the United States is experiencing a drug war.
A New Approach to Addiction
Tonmoy Sharma states that the stereotype of people with track-streaked arms perishing in city gutters and crack homes has long given way to a new reality. The nightly news is now replete with videos of suburban parents wringing their hands over the picture of their clean-cut high school or college athlete who succumbed to drugs.
Dr. Sharma explains the foundations of MBC and why it is a successful method in treating patients with substance use disorders. He defines measurement-based care as “the process of basing clinical care on client data acquired throughout treatment.” It is a crucial component of evidence-based practices, he argues.
According to him, the principle is simple: gathering data on patients’ treatment input allows doctors to determine whether their strategy is working and adjust it properly during the care process. Measurement-based care is effective in any setting and for any disorder.
It’s not a case of brain surgery; it’s a case of data.
MBC requires soliciting frequent and periodic feedback from patients on their care in addiction therapy, and it also has a low cost to the provider and can be used in any medical setting.
Patients provide the ‘outcome measures,’ which are used to assess how well treatment is working. There are numerous free, brief surveys that patients can complete to assist therapists in determining what is working and what is not working throughout treatment. Throughout the therapy process, patient input informs clinical decisions, and care is changed as needed.
Dr. Sharma supports his claim by stating that MBC in the treatment of diabetes is routine: recommend dietary adjustments and potentially medication, and check a patient’s blood sugar levels regularly to assess how the treatment is working. Diet and medication adjustments are made as needed. However, Sharma points out that MBC is not the treatment of choice for addiction.
Sharma’s warning is unequivocal. Regarding the limited usage of MBC, he argues, “This is unacceptable.” “In dismissing the call for MBC in addiction treatment, there is nothing to lose except lives and time.” And, as he reminds the reader, there is no time like the present. His parting words were, “The time is now.”
Sovereign Health’s Innovative Approach
Alyssa Bochenek is a Sovereign Media correspondent who delivered a video titled “Sovereign Health Featured in Orange County Business Journal for Measurement-Based Care” in the same edition. The video features interviews with Guy Bezzar, Patient Services Manager at Sovereign Health, Seth Zajac, General Counsel at Sovereign Health, and Kevin Gallagher, Chief Financial Officer at Sovereign Health, to illustrate the relevance of MBC in the behavioral health treatment sector.
“We are to provide the greatest possible care.” When asked about MBC, Guy Bezzar in the film responded, “Every individual who works for Sovereign has this thought process that we are going to go above and beyond to meet this patient’s demands.”
Seth Zajac stated in the film that the rallying cry has not only been heard but acted upon, because it ensures two critical things: one, heightened responsibility for providers in this business, and two, and most importantly, that patients receive the quality and measured care that they deserve.