Frequently Asked Questions
What is ASAM CONTINUUM and CO-Triage?
Software Integration and Distributor Information
The length of integration varies based on the EMR technical department and degree of integration that is desired. On average, integration can take 12 weeks to complete.
The ASAM CONTINUUUM and CO-Triage are computer-guided, structured-interview tools that assist clinicians and non-clinicians in conducting expert level biopsychosocial assessments. Clinicians for whom assessment is within the scope of their practice can conduct a CONTINUUM assessment. Non-clinicians, with training and supervision, can conduct a CO-Triage assessment. ASAM does not require specific credentials to use the tool when conducting assessments, however, states or other regulatory bodies may have specific requirements around who is considered qualified to conduct an assessment.
CONTINUUM can be used to reassess a patient, and reassessments typically take 30 minutes to complete. The clinician has the option to pull forward responses from the previous assessment when completing a reassessment.
Yes. The ASAM CONTINUUM is designed for re-assessment over time. Statistical information on treatment outcomes can be obtained from the DSM-5TR diagnostic calculations, the Addiction Severity Index sub-scale composite scores, and the CIWA/CINA withdrawal scores. More detailed views of pre- vs. post-treatment may be derived from comparing individual items or groups of items over time.
Yes. The ASAM CONTINUUM and CO-Triage require a clinical relationship and process. It is possible for misrepresentation to confound any clinical process, however, the thoroughness and multiple perspectives obtained through the ASAM CONTINUUM structured interview are designed to reduce this risk. Furthermore, interviewers are prompted to consider patient comprehension and misrepresentation in each major section of the interview process and to rate these parameters.
In ASAM CONTINUUM, blood pressure & heart rate items are presented as a “yes/no” item. It is understood that some interviewers/agencies do not have the capacity to collect clinical measures of this sort. When blood pressure and heart rate are able to be assessed the CONTINUUM algorithm utilizes these to determine the need for withdrawal management.
In CO-Triage, there is an item in Dimension 6 of the screener which provides a response option reflecting instability of the living environment or homelessness. In CONTINUUM, the General Information section of the CONTINUUM assessment, the information icon for the item determining residential status instructs the interviewer on how to respond if the patient is unhoused. The tools’ goal is to assess the functional impact of housing or homelessness on the patient’s risk for continued use or relapse. The ASAM Criteria 2013 edition specifies the importance of determining if the “living...environment is not supportive of good mental health functioning”, specifically, whether “the patient is unable to cope with continuing stresses caused by homelessness”. The mere state of homelessness alone is not prescriptive, however, as to the patient’s needs. Further details on homelessness and how it affects the patient should be entered into the Comment box at the end of the Family and Social History section. These comments will be printed in the Narrative Report print-out.
ASAM CONTINUUM is currently in use within several criminal justice settings across the US. If the patient will re-enter the community within a few months after assessment, a CONTINUUM Re-entry Interview Script Enhancement (RISE) configuration of the software is available. This version takes into account the context of the controlled environment in producing the appropriate level of care (LOC) to which the patient should be referred to upon their release. Please contact our team to further discuss whether the ASAM CONTINUUM is appropriate for your criminal justice system.
Please visit our detailed products page for further information regarding CONTINUUM’s applicability for your organization. If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of whether CONTINUUM is right for you and a demo of the CONTINUUM product, please contact our team to schedule a demo with our team.
Research shows improved patient outcomes, including 30% better patient retention and two to three times better multidimensional outcomes at the three-month mark. The CONTINUUM software also streamlines and more easily secures revenue through care authorization. To view a full list of benefits, please reference here.
ASAM CONTINUUM can reduce your staff’s utilization review burden, improve payment authorization, and save patient worry. Programs in the product beta test and demonstration project phases reported substantial numbers of hours saved per patient on prior authorization and utilization review—with both commercial and public payers. Reports output from the ASAM CONTINUUM assessments can be submitted for the utilization review process to indicate level of care recommended based on CONTINUUM’s ASAM-endorsed ASAM Criteria assessment.
Other key ways that the ASAM CONTINUUM can assist with the billing and utilization review process are:
Organizing all critical information for effective managed care evaluations
Tracking progress of individuals as they move along The ASAM Criteria continuum of care
Assessing effectiveness of treatment with quantitative outcomes
Evaluating consistency of practice
Identifying gaps in treatment
Reporting on access to care issues and other needs in the health system
ASAM CONTINUUM can be purchased directly through an authorized third-party distributor or FEI Systems. ASAM is working with several health technology companies (typically companies that offer electronic health records systems) on a non-exclusive basis to offer ASAM’s CONTINUUM to the providers. A list of ASAM authorized CONTINUUM distributors can be viewed here.
Yes, subscriptions for CONTINUUM and CO-Triage must be purchased separately. During the integration process, both tools are incorporated into the EMR platform, however subscriptions need to be purchased separately.
Yes, you are required to purchase a subscription to access the ASAM CONTINUUM. For more information on pricing, please reference our Distributors page.
Users can conduct an unlimited number of assessments once they have access to the ASAM CONTINUUM.
Large systems have used a variety of approaches to introduce the ASAM CONTINUUM software program into routine use by public treatment programs. The successful systems have used the Progressive Roll-out method. This is a grassroots engagement strategy that avoids top-down mandates that risk eliciting resistance to change.
The Progressive Roll-out involves (1) assigning an agency official, trade association or external consultant team to (2) solicit and identify lead programs in each region. These are volunteer programs that are interested in pioneering new approaches (often to distinguish themselves competitively and establish their status as models in the region).
Within each of these lead programs, (3) volunteer staff are invited to be the first to train on and use the software. These individuals are given formal training and followed up with supervision. After 2 to 3 months, these individuals have passed the learning curve and are efficient and skilled in the use of the software with patients.
(4) This also allows time to determine if regional service differences or population needs require interpretation, further training, or modification of software. (5) Once these pioneer users are comfortable, it becomes easy to add the remaining users within those systems. By having these pioneer providers and their programs present to other programs in the regions, either through mini-conferences, workshops, or in-service presentations, the remaining programs in the region can be brought aboard. Similarly, in each of those second phase programs, (6) volunteers are invited to be trained and are given two to three months to adapt their skills before (7) offering the system to the remaining staff.
Using this Progressive Roll-out approach, large systems have been able to achieve comprehensive adoption by all intake clinicians and all levels of care.
Suitable groups for directing the progressive rollout can include internal agency work groups (including clinical directors, provider liaisons, implementation managers, etc.), or state-wide professional societies or trade associations. Financial management or payer agencies, such as Medicaid or regional managing entities, are better suited for directing the utilization review adoption of CONTINUUM recommendations rather than the Progressive Roll-out, since the latter is a clinical training process best served by prior educational in-service relationships with treatment providers.
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