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Austin addiction treatment company to partner with health insurance carrier

Austin American-Statesman - 10/18/2018

Oct. 18--Austin-based MAP Health Management announced Thursday that the company has partnered with a leading health insurance carrier in New Jersey to improve substance abuse outcomes.

Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. will deploy MAP's telehealth "Peer Recovery Support" service, the company said. The service aims to help patients and their families identify relapse behaviors and provide communication primarily through phone and video sessions.

"As a result of the opioid epidemic, health care plans are very proactively contracting preventative addiction services," MAP Health Management CEO Jacob Levenson said. "We have worked for a very long time to get this as a covered benefit for insurance companies."

MAP Health Management's peer support service will be made available to Horizon's commercially insured members, according to Levenson. The costs will be fully covered by Horizon with no co-pay, deductibles or other costs for using the system.

Peer recovery support specialists are individuals who have been in recovery for at least three years and are trained and certified to support patients and their families detect relapse behaviors. Levenson said the company has found that treating patients with the help of a peer "supports a very strong alliance" and improves outcomes for substance use disorders.

"The beauty of that is a peer understands from their own experience what the individual they're working with has gone through," Levenson said.

Peer support is used in a number of fields to treat chronic illness. Studies have found that the treatment lowers hospital readmission rates and increases quality of life outcomes, according to the nonprofit Mental Health America.

In 2011, Levenson founded MAP, which stands for "measure action and prevention," in Austin. The company will add roughly 25 employees with the new Horizon partnership. Currently, 85 employees work for the company, with half based in Austin.

Allen Karp, Horizon executive vice president for health care and transformation management, said in a written statement that peer support programs like MAP's dramatically improve the chances of a person achieving long-term success.

"By working with MAP, Horizon is taking another step to increase access to programs and resources that can help our members get and stay on the road to recovery," Karp said.

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(c)2018 Austin American-Statesman, Texas

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