Access to Recovery Services Help Contain Medical Costs for Chemically Dependent Clients

Nov 2008 |
Online Library

In 2004, Washington was one of 14 states that received an initial three-year ($22.8 million) grant to support the development of an Access to Recovery (ATR) program. The six counties that participated in the ATR effort in Washington State were: Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Yakima. The impact of Washington’s ATR I program on DSHS fee for service medical costs was assessed for working age disabled clients who were eligible for medical coverage under the aged, blind or disabled (ABD), GAU, or ADATSA programs. This ATR service improvement project documented positive effects of the ATR program on medical costs. It found ATR was associated with a modest reduction ($66) in costs per member per month. The reduction in per member per month cost was greater ($136) for clients who had at least three months of DSHS fee for service medical eligibility in the year before and after the ATR intervention. ATR services were also associated with other positive outcomes including increased length of stay in treatment, increased likelihood of completing treatment and an increased likelihood of becoming employed. The beneficial effects of ATR services on treatment retention were most pronounced when they were provided between 31 and 180 days after a client began treatment.

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