Home Features Austin's MAP Seeking to Solve Treatment's Outcomes Conundrum
Austin's MAP Seeking to Solve Treatment's Outcomes Conundrum
Written by Ted Jackson   
October 2014


Austin is a city that has clearly over the last decade emerged as an identifiable addiction treatment "hub," the only new one to come to life really since South Florida, Arizona and So Cal became identifiable as private treatment's major hubs in the 1990s. What occurs naturally as a treatment hub develops is that, as more and more centers open, so do the ancillary parts of the hub develop, with the result that a strong recovering community emerges along the lines of those in Delray Beach, FL, and  Newport Beach in Southern California. In Austin what has started to occur, though, is that the recovery community is starting to link up with the city's  internationally recognized tech and entrepreneurial sectors and when that meets up with willing capital you start to get some very interesting results, one of them being a fast growing company seeking to address the key issue of verifiable, credible outcomes data in the addiction treatment industry.

Multi-Million Investment

In Austin a company called MAP, which it says has invested $3M-$4M in a systems platform, with a total $5M or so investment, has emerged. It's by far the most we at Treatment Magazine have seen invested along these lines and MAP is now signing clients and starting to work with payors. Backed by the Levenson family, which also founded Origins Recovery Center 5-yrs ago and seems to have a unlimited appetite for putting family money into cutting edge and highly necessary - but very risky- addictions industry projects, MAP beta tested for years with Origins clients. Dr. Thomas Kimball's Texas Tech Center for Addiction and Recovery is partnering with MAP in a continual process of perfecting the outcomes platform, and, of course, keeping it honest. Now after almost 3 years after opening its doors, MAP has 60 employees, and growing fast, with 20 treatment center clients, also growing fast, and last year measured outcomes on more than a thousand clients, according to CEO Jacob Levenson.

Independent Outcomes Measurement

"A treatment center cannot collect outcomes data itself," he says. "The bias is always going to be to positive in favor of the center and the data will never have any credibility." (In the absence of any generally accepted outcomes data for the reatment industry, Treatment Magazine has always had a policy of never publishing outcomes results.) MAP itself is gaining credibility though, and indeed should with the kind of multi-million investments that the Levenson family has made and continues to be prepared to make.

Will the Payors Pay?

According to Levenson, MAP is currently in negotiations with one of the four largest health insurance payors in the  nation. The idea is to use MAP to measure outcomes so that the insurer can build performance based compensation - read: the more clients stay clean the more money that gets paid - into some of its in-network addiction treatment care contracts. At this point the commercial payors, which once accounted for 40 percent of all treatment spending in the 1980s and now probably are at about 10 percent, are feeling badly burned about past abuses and are justifiably unhappy with the revolving door that treatment has become. It is companies like MAP that have the potential to pursuade the payors to start paying more.

Helping Boost Oucomes

And MAP is also focused now onproviding services that will help centers improve their outcomes. Just as many of of its employees are devoted to case management as are devoted to outcomes measurement. And  indeed Levenson expects to have about 150 employees providing distance care by year's end, effectively turning a client's 30-90 day client care experience into one that lasts as long as 18-months, taking a big step toward helping the industry realize on the beginnings of a chronic disease model of care that has chance of being accepted by both providers and payors. the patient sees, though, is a product that is delivered to them by the treatment center client. Says Levenson: "The product is ompletely private labeled to our treatment center clients. MAP is there but in a very secondary branding, very much like Intel is branded on a personal computer." TJ

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