Phoenix, Arizona Magellan Healtha managed health system, announced last week that it will offer California Blue Shield and western health benefit home access for members to Ria Healthalcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment services. Magellan Health works with health plans and other managed care organizations, as well as employers, unions, and various military and government agencies and third-party administrators.
Ria Health, headquartered in San Francisco, offers a variety of services ranging from video chat coaching to access to drugs to quit alcohol. The platform allows users to track their alcohol consumption. The goal is to shift users from high-risk behavior to low-risk behavior, not requiring them to abstain completely unless they choose to do so.
“Ria Health treatment protocols are determined by peer-reviewed clinical evidence. Evidence shows that the combination of medication and psychosocial support can help patients achieve effective results,” said Tom Nix, CEO of Ria Health, in an email provided by a representative. “When it comes to support from community programs or non-medical approaches, our care team is neither believing nor disbelieving. This is what we mean by agnostic philosophy.
A medical team – which includes a registered nurse or doctor – develops a personalized plan for each member of Ria. This plan may include medication, coaching, and support groups, as well as a weekly 15-minute check-in. Additionally, Ria sends users a Bluetooth breathalyzer that connects to the smartphone app to track drink consumption.
“By combining Magellan’s highly tactile clinical solutions and Ria Health’s AUD telehealth program, we can help our members reduce or stop their alcohol consumption,” said Caroline Carney, President of Behavioral Health and Physician- head of Magellan in a press release announcing the partnership.
The partnership comes at a crucial time for people with AUD. The pandemic has marked a increase in alcohol consumption in the United States and the associated consequences on individual health, including physical and mental health.
“With the dramatic increase in harmful alcohol consumption, fueled by the stress of the pandemic, people need effective, evidence-based treatment options more than ever,” said Ria CEO Tom Nix. Health, in the press release. “Our program is clinically proven to help people reduce harmful drinking, and the average patient shows a 75% reduction in blood alcohol content. We will expand these services to Magellan Health’s California network and reach even more patients. [who] Need help.”
“Even before the pandemic, we were seeing an increased need for mental health and addictions services. Now we are beginning to know the true impact of the pandemic through survey and usage data that show an increase in problematic drinking and medical complications of drinking. There has never been a more important time to recognize and treat alcohol use disorders,” Carney said.
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