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Hazelden Betty Ford Ramps Up Telehealth Platform Expansion

March 24, 2020

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has announced an expansion of its telehealth-based RecoveryGo addiction treatment offerings to include insurance-covered virtual outpatient services. The new digital services are modeled after Hazelden Betty Ford’s face-to-face programming, combining group therapy and individual counseling sessions, along with wraparound services.

Hazelden Betty Ford began piloting new virtual outpatient treatment modalities in mid-2019 with a plan to have regulatory hurdles cleared and contracts with insurers set for a March launch in California and Minnesota. The company accelerated its efforts to expand the program once the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began to spread across the U.S., creating a more urgent need for telehealth-based services. The RecoveryGo telehealth services are now available in the seven states where Hazelden Betty Ford has physical locations, and the company said in a news release that it plans to make the services available “in all 50 states soon.”

“We applaud the quick work of policymakers and regulators to enable more telehealth at this time, and are grateful to have built the necessary infrastructure that will be so vital in the coming days, weeks and months,” Hazelden Betty Ford president and CEO Mark Mishek said in a statement. “As we provide more opportunities across the country for quality treatment to individuals and families affected by opioid addiction and other substance use disorders, we'll be able to bring hope and healing to our now-socially-distanced urban areas, to underserved rural populations and to everywhere in between.”

In addition to virtual outpatient addiction treatment, the RecoveryGo platform includes: mental health treatment services, a web- and phone-based health portal that helps clinicians track patient progress and guide care, family services, recovery support services, and training and consultation to help other treatment providers and community organizations integrate virtual services.

More telehealth-based expansion

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, another provider is turning to telehealth and offering sidelined workers an opportunity to help individuals in recovery. Thrive Behavioral Health Center, a Beachwood, Ohio-based company that provides peer support services, announced it is hiring to grow its roster of peer recovery support coaches by 5% and offering its services remotely.

TBHC’s community peer support program, which historically has been delivered face-to-face, helps clients navigate mental health and substance use challenges. To accommodate social distancing policies, the company has developed a telehealth platform to keep clients in contact with peer supporters through phone and video conferencing. TBHC’s peer supporters help clients with housing, transportation to medical appointments, and other recovery-related life activities.

To become a certified peer supporter for TBHC, the company is requiring individuals to complete 16 hours of online training, 40 hours of in-person training (which is now being conducted via video conferencing in deference to social distancing policies), pass a test, and submit an application to the state of Ohio.

Thrive Behavioral Health Center operates in community settings, hospitals and Cuyahoga County Jail, and has partnerships with the MetroHealth System and St. Vincent Charity Medical Care Center in Cleveland, and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.

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