AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia Joins with Local Providers in Connected, Patient-Centric Substance Use Disorder Treatment

‘Caring Communities’ seeks to empower accountability and efficiency across continuum of SUD care

September 15, 2022 - Washington, D.C.

AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, a Medicaid managed care plan serving the District of Columbia and a member of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, has teamed up with 12 local providers on the first value-based program designed to support collaboration among organizations that support people in the District with substance use disorder (SUD). Called “Caring Communities,” the program brings together providers from across the continuum of SUD care, including those who deliver non-clinical, recovery-support services, in an effort to streamline referrals for care and better track patient outcomes.

The program aims to increase treatment retention and recovery efficacy, and improve care coordination for individuals living with an SUD. With Washington, D.C. reporting 560 overdose fatalities in 2021 alone,i having a seamless treatment pathway could be a matter of life or death. Caring Communities incentivizes providers to offer integrated and coordinated care with an entire network of partners to help encourage the possibility of sustained recovery.

Under Caring Communities, the 12 local providers, who informally engage as a network under the community non-profit “Partners in Care Network,” will use a common referral platform to facilitate communication between providers and monitor patients’ needs and progress. Participating providers can earn incentives through appropriate referrals focused on improving long-term recovery outcomes and addressing gaps in social determinants of health.

Since its launch in September 2021, more than 600 District residents have been referred for SUD care through Caring Communities’ network of providers.

The program includes peer counselors to support participants through treatment and recovery by sharing their lived experience to guide and advocate for patients. AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia embeds one of its own peer counselors into the Caring Communities platform.

“The intent of Caring Communities is to create a scalable unbroken continuum of services for SUD treatment that is trackable in real time. We want to help ensure that when an individual enters a facility for treatment and transitions through the continuum of care, there is a clear path for ongoing support focused on long-term recovery and treatment planning,” said AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia Chief Psychiatric Medical Officer Dr. Yavar Moghimi.

“Quality health care works best when care coordination between hospitals and front-line community providers is delivered in real-time, said Partners In Care Network CEO Audrey Whetsell. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting spikes in overdose deaths has added greater urgency for this approach to collaborative care coordination. Identifying when and where individuals have fallen out of care, in real-time, will save lives.”

[i] A Gomez and R Kurzius. Listen: How the D.C. region is addressing the ongoing opioid crisis. WAMU, May 24, 2022. Accessed Aug 25, 2022.