Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey collaborates with telemedicine addiction care provider Workit Health to offer digital treatment to those struggling with opioid and alcohol use disorder.
(New Jersey - May 18, 2020) Workit Health announced the expansion of its health care service to include Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ), the state’s largest health insurer. Workit Health’s telemedicine program offering evidence-based digital treatment for opioid and alcohol use disorders will be covered under all Horizon BCBSNJ’s Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans.
Horizon BCBSNJ members are now able to sign up for Workit Health’s digital addiction care online or over the phone without a referral, and clinicians in primary care and emergency department settings are able to refer those who need care electronically. Treatment is provided via Workit Health’s web and phone apps, and includes therapy from licensed counselors, medication management with buprenorphine/naloxone or naltrexone, and a personalized curriculum of evidence-based interactive courses.
“We know people using buprenorphine are twice as likely to stay in treatment — we’ve seen its efficacy reflected in our outcomes, with our adherence rates beating those of traditional treatment by 60 percent, for one-tenth of the cost,” said Workit Health’s Co-CEO, Lisa McLaughlin. “Innovative health plans can lead the way to making buprenorphine more available, and we applaud partners like Horizon for prioritizing the overdose crisis and its members with substance use disorders,” McLaughlin said.
“As people in recovery ourselves, Lisa and I understand how the recovery support system can fail,” said Robin McIntosh, Workit Health’s Co-CEO. “We’ve lost many loved ones to overdose, and we’re committed to reaching the 90 percent of people struggling with addiction who currently are not receiving the help they need. We’re looking forward to providing Horizon members with access to evidence-based and judgment-free care, while reducing costs for everyone.”
Despite buprenorphine/naloxone being the gold-standard FDA-approved medication to treat opioid use disorder, only one-quarter of addiction treatment providers in New Jersey offer the medication. Horizon BCBSNJ members struggling with opioid use disorder will now be able to receive ongoing buprenorphine/naloxone treatment on their phones, following up with their clinician via telemedicine after a single in-person visit. The digital program also includes 24/7 messaging with their care team, online recovery groups, and clinically-verified drug testing, and therapeutic interactive courses reviewed by licensed counselors. Currently Workit Health has a clinic location in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, with plans to open additional locations throughout the state in the coming months.
For Horizon BCBSNJ members struggling with alcohol use disorder, no in-person visit is required and all care is completed via Workit Health’s 5-star rated web and phone apps. The program offers multiple options for recovery, with options to focus on moderation that utilize naltrexone with the Sinclair Method, or abstinence with naltrexone or Vivitrol. Workit Health practices a harm reduction philosophy in which members aren’t punished for substance use and are able to choose what behavior they’d like to change, and when.
“The shelter in place environment from COVID-19 has dramatically heightened the need to bring telehealth options to our members who battle every day on their journey to recovery from a substance use disorder – it’s unfortunately the perfect storm which requires tremendous support in the recovery community and easily accessible telehealth treatment solutions,” said Suzanne Kunis, Vice-President of Behavioral Health at Horizon BCBSNJ. “The Workit telemedicine platform makes it possible for New Jersey-licensed physicians, clinicians, therapists and certified coaches, at no cost to the Horizon member during the COVID-19 Pandemic, to assess the unique needs of each member and to tailor solutions that will support their journey to recovery from their own home. Workit offers a comprehensive, holistic approach to Medication Assisted Treatment including prescribing FDA approved medications with concomitant therapy and peer support utilizing phones, laptops, tablets and other smart devices. Workit is a great addition to Horizon’s network and we are honored to work with their team.”
While nearly eight New Jersey residents die from drug overdoses each day, New Jerseyians have often relied upon high-cost, out-of-state treatment programs which may not offer medication. Medications like buprenorphine have been proven to cut death rates from overdose in half and increase the likelihood of long-term recovery. Workit Health was created as a direct response to this crisis by two experienced founders in long-term recovery, and has been working with national clinical experts and organizations since its foundation, including Itai Danovitch, MD, the Commissioner of California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Both the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have awarded Workit Health grants for their innovative offerings.
About Workit Health
Workit Health is a Joint Commission-accredited B-Corporation offering online, on-demand evidence-based addiction treatment including telemedicine medication for opioid use disorder. We partner with healthcare organizations to deliver an innovative digital health solution that blends the best of human-centered design, technology, and science. Through our mobile and web apps, members meet with clinicians and counselors, join recovery groups, and complete self-set recovery goals. Our interactive curriculum of online courses keep members on track in the comfort of home. We offer 24/7 recovery that fits into daily life, designed by experts. For more information, visit www.workithealth.com.