Contingency Management Key to Treating Stimulant Use Disorder – Behavioral Health Business

In this article for Behavioral Health Business, Bailey Bryant goes deep into issues with insurance companies and behavioral health providers around contingency management, which is shown to be the most effective method in treating stimulant use disorders – and is central in Affect’s approach.

Affect’s CEO, Kristin Muhlner, speaks to how getting payer support is key to bringing effective treatment to more people suffering from addictions to methamphetamine and cocaine.

For example, Affect Therapeutics — a year-old company aiming to make contingency management affordable, scalable and auditable — is currently working to score a number of contracts with payers. Results from a contingency management field study in California help make its case.

Since January, Affect has treated about 55 patients with severe meth use disorder in 16-week episodes of care, with retention rates of about 50%.

We have been in discussions with a number of payers at both the commercial and Medicaid level,” Affect CEO Kristin Muhlner told BHB. “We are in contracting with a couple of those … and I anticipate that we will be in market with a set of beachhead states — initially Arizona, Nevada, Kentucky — in Q4 of this year.”

Once Affect goes to market, it will provide patients with a six-month intensive episode of care with an open-ended maintenance period. Patients will receive the digital therapeutic app, as well as an assignment to a dedicated care advocate, addiction counselor and psychiatrist.

Each day, the app gives patients a behavioral health curriculum filled with lessons and tasks to complete, while also allowing Affect to collect a variety of data points. Patients also have twice-per-week group therapy, once-per-week addiction counseling and twice-per-week drug screens, as well as regular touch points with care advocates, who keep them on track and offer support.

Every single aspect of that is incentivized with contingency management incentive,” Muhlner said. “Those can be fixed payments for specific task completion or meeting attendance, … or they can be variable payments. For example, for streaks of abstinence, … your incentive for getting those goes even higher.”

Read the full article at Behavioral Health Business