Highmark’s Additional Efforts in 2020 to Stop the Opioid Crisis

Highmark continues to make progress in addressing opioid use disorder through a three pronged approach of evidence-based non-opioid pain management, safe management with opioid when needed (“Start low and go slow”), and by providing members access to therapy and medication assisted treatment (MAT).

To do this we are launching:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association BlueDistinction® Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery,
  • Shatterproof, a nationally recognized anti-stigma and substance use educational program,
  • Tele-addiction services in West Virginia 24x7 in order to supplement current services and fill in gaps in access to many counties that lack any access to MAT treatment.
  • BCBSA Substance Use Recovery Center line.

BlueDistinction® Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery

The Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery program is a national designation given by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) to recognize provider facilities who demonstrate expertise in delivering quality patient outcomes and value by focusing on the treatment of substance use disorder.

The program addresses the full continuum of care delivery. Facilities delivering one or more of the following levels of care will be considered for residential, inpatient, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization services.

Program Highlights:

  • Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) is available.
  • Designated facilities (awarded on an ongoing basis, for delivery of timely, coordinated, multidisciplinary, evidence-based care, with a focus on quality improvement and patient-centered care) deliver patient-centered, multidisciplinary care including the transition of care between sites and levels of care.

The program will continue to expand to other sites of care in the future.

For more information on the BlueDistrinction® program, visit: https://www.bcbs.com/sites/default/files/file-attachments/page/BDSC_SubstanceUseTreatmentRecovery_Program_Overview.pdf


Stigma can be a “mark of shame” imposed on those struggling with substance use disorders and their families either through self-stigma (fear of judgement or consequence) or institutional and societal stigma arising from prejudices and misinformation. It creates a significant barrier to diagnosis and life-saving treatment.

In order to address and remove this barrier, and make progress in efforts to address addiction, Highmark is making resources available for opioid users to seek treatment and maintain sustained recovery. We are also giving families resources to cope and see success stories.

These resources are given through employers as a series of online, monthly, educational modules that educate victims and families on the disorder, its biochemical nature, and its genetic risks.

For more information on the Shatterproof Initiative and educational materials, review www.Shatterproof.org .

Bright Heart Health

Bright Heart Health joined Highmark in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to provide comprehensive therapy and MAT services for opioid use disorder via telemedicine.

They are available 24/7 for ER Warm Handoffs, Primary Care Physician (PCP) referrals, or self-referrals. If you have a patient that you want to refer to Bright Hearth Health, you can access their website (https://www.brighthearthealth.com/ ) or call (800) 892-2695 for immediate enrollment.

For more information on Bright Heart Health, please see the following:

BCBSA Substance Use Resource Center

On January 1, 2020, the BCBSA, with support from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, launched the BCBSA Substance Use Resource Center. It is a 24/7 toll free number for any person, regardless of insurance status.

For more information, see the following resources: