Virtual care improves access and reduces stigma for people struggling with addiction

By Regence
May 24, 2021
Boulder Care

Experts from Regence and Boulder Care discuss the impact of the opioid epidemic and how virtual treatments can improve patient health

Addiction, or medically known as a substance use disorder, is a condition that affects far more people than many realize. In fact, more than 21 million people in the U.S. struggle with a substance use disorder, and opioid and alcohol use has risen sharply the past year. In the last 12 months alone, more than 81,000 people have died from a drug overdose—the highest number of fatal overdoses in one year ever recorded in the U.S.

Despite the growing need for treatment, access continues to be a concern. Many people find it difficult to locate nearby treatment centers or providers trained in medication-assisted therapy. Others may not have the time to seek out care, and there’s the stigma that may be associated with visiting a physical clinic in person.

In March, Regence announced a partnership with Boulder Care to provide accessible treatment through evidence-based care. In the last five years Regence has reduced opioid prescriptions among its membership by 51 percent, credited to a comprehensive strategy that addresses opioid misuse while also supporting appropriate use for those who need it.

Boulder Care offers 24/7 nationwide access to medication-assisted therapy through secure video, phone and messaging. Flexible scheduling helps participants get support when they need it most. Grounded in harm reduction and trauma-informed care, Boulder Care offers coaching from peers who have lived experience of recovery, as well as medication-assisted treatment.

Each Boulder Care patient is supported by a dedicated care team that includes:

  • A doctor or nurse practitioner who specializes in addiction medicine and can address co-occurring medical and behavioral conditions with wrap-around support
  • A care advocate who can assist with insurance or pharmacy questions, as well as help patients find primary care, mental health and other providers
  • A nationally certified peer coach who has experience with recovery and can help with accessing local resources

Learn more about the state of the opioid epidemic and the benefit of options like Boulder Care from Regence Behavioral Health Medical Director Dr. Hossam Mahmoud, as well as Boulder Care’s Dr. Alyson Smith in this video:

Regence members are encouraged to log in to their account to learn more about Boulder Care and the spectrum of behavioral health resources offered under their health plan.