Tufts Health Plan has rolled out a “pioneering” new in-home substance use disorder (SUD) treatment option for certain clinically eligible commercial members. The coverage will be available through a pilot in Massachusetts, where no other insurers are covering such home-based SUD treatments, according to a press release announcing the news.
Tufts is teaming up with Aware Recovery Care to make it happen.
Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, Tufts touches more than 1.15 million members across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut. It has employer-sponsored plans, as well as Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace plans.
Meanwhile, Aware Recovery Care offers home-based SUD treatment in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Florida and Massachusetts. It provides integrated medical and behavioral health care.
The goal of the pilot is to make SUD treatment more accessible by offering members more ways to receive care, according to Emily Bailey, vice president of behavioral health for Tufts Health Plan.
“In some cases, this may be the type of treatment our members need to finally beat the cycle of addiction,” Bailey told Behavioral Health Business. “We know how difficult it can be to start the recovery process — that’s why we’re always striving to make it easier for our members.”
Home-based SUD care eliminates many of the barriers known to keep people from seeking treatment, such as stigma and transportation issues. Plus, amid the COVID-19 emergency — which has worsened the nation’s SUD crisis — home-based care delivery can help reduce patients’ risk of virus exposure.
Aware Recovery Care’s model is based upon the one used in visiting nursing care. The provider deploys a multidisciplinary team to offer each patient personalized care. That team is led by an addiction psychiatrist and also consists of an addiction nurse, a licensed marriage and family therapist, an individual therapist and a certified recovery advisor.
The pilot kicked off Nov. 1, so members are still being enrolled. Thus, it’s too early to report any results, according to Bailey. Nevertheless, Bailey is hopeful of the impact the program will have for members long-term.
“Many individuals face limitations to accessing quality care, including affordability, availability and efficacy of available treatment,” she said. “We’re taking action because there is an urgent demand for treatment options. We are proud to be the first Massachusetts insurer to bring this to service to our members.”