United Healthcare maintains a separate division, United Behavioral Health, to promote confidentiality and efficiency of treatment for those recovering from eating disorders, as well as drug and alcohol addiction.
Services included in United Behavioral Health’s policies most often consist of inpatient hospital detox, outpatient detox, inpatient drug and alcohol rehab, outpatient drug and alcohol rehab.
Optum is the brand name used by United Behavioral Health in the provision of services. It provides technological, operational, and consulting solutions and services to individuals, healthcare companies, pharma companies, and Federal and state governments. Optum also includes the Lewin Group, a consulting firm that delivers analyzes and offers strategic counsel to state agencies.
Optum’s clients include more than 5,000 hospitals, 80,000 physician groups, 60 million individuals and 300 health plans. It provides risk reporting and population management tools, as well as analytics platforms for healthcare organizations to support care management.
In June 2018, Optum partnered with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to expand access to evidence-based addiction treatment services—including specialty programs and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder—to members of Optum’s behavioral health coverage. Eligible members have in-network access to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s national system of care at 14 treatment locations across the U.S.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Along with Amerigroup and BlueCare, United Healthcare has determined the need for a comprehensive network of providers who offer Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for members with opioid use disorder. This provider network has agreed to provide MAT under certain guidelines drawn up by the three companies.
MAT involves the use of medications—in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies—to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research has shown that, when treating substance-use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful for some people. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications for MAT use, including buprenorphine- and naltrexone-based products.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment versus Outpatient
Depending on how serious the addiction is, the patient will need to decide whether an inpatient or outpatient treatment center is right for him or her.
Inpatient treatment features residential accommodations, where patients live for 30, 60, or 90-day stints to focus on beating their addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders. Outpatient treatment only requires the patient to participate for a number of hours and allows them to leave. It is suited for people with less serious, short-term addictions.
Understanding that outpatient treatment has to be properly managed in order to be effective,
Optum Health Insurance developed the ALERT system, which allows the company to quickly identify any risk factors at the beginning of the treatment process.
Finding the Most Appropriate Treatment
Researching your insurance options can be overwhelming. Knowledgeable advisors are available through United Healthcare—they can verify your coverage and help you find the best treatment. Call your insurance provider and ask a representative about the details of your plan.