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Drug Abuse Treatment Costs Analysis Program

User Information

Acronym:

DATCAP

Author/Developer / Address:

Michael T. French,Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor
University of Miami Health Services Research Center
1400 NW 10th Avenue
Suite 1105A Miami
FL 33136 (305) 243-3490 (phone). (305) 243-2149 (fax)
mfrench@mednet.med.miami.edu

Publication dates:

1998 (Sixth Edition).

Description / Type of Assessment:

The Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP) is a data collection instrument and cost interview guide designed to be used for all types of treatment providers.

Primary use / Purpose:

The purpose of this interview guide is to collect resource use and cost information pertaining to the operations of one modality or program at the treatment organization.

Domains measured / Life Areas / Problems Assessed:

A. PROGRAM REVENUE
B. CLIENT INFORMATION
C. PERSONNEL
D. SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS
E. CONTRACTED SERVICES
F. BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES
G. EQUIPMENT
H. MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES AND COSTS
I. RESOURCES AND COSTS NOT RECORDED ELSEWHERE

Population:

Programs.

Administration / Completion Time:

The interview is structured such as to minimize the time needed. The average completion time for a typical program is 8-16 person hours. This includes preparation time as well as face-to-face interview time. Furthermore, a preliminary interview is required prior to the first administration only and does not need to be repeated in subsequent years.

Scoring Procedures:

After compiling all the necessary resource use and cost data, the DATCAP will generate total annual cost estimates for each individual cost category, for the treatment program?s study modality as a whole, and for the average client. Using client caseflow data, the DATCAP will also generate average cost estimates that represent the cost to provide uninterrupted treatment services to one client for one week. In addition, based on length-of-stay projections, DATCAP will compute the average cost for a single treatment episode.

Scoring Time:

Not specified.

Credentials/Training:

Proper training on the usage of the instrument as well as on the interpretation of the cost estimates is strongly recommended. The interviewer administering the DATCAP should be trained on its use by its principal designer, Dr. Michael French, or by any person designated for that purpose by Dr. French. The DATCAP instrument should be administered by a properly qualified interviewer. Ideally, this interviewer should hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree in economics and have some additional experience with health services research. These are not necessary conditions, since proper training and experience with the instrument may ensure correct use as well.
See one of the relevant studies included about DATCAP (Manual.doc):
French, M.T. (1998) Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP): Program Version User's Manual, Fourth Edition, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

Source of Psychometrics:

Not available.

Languages:

English.

Availability/Inquiries:

Michael T. French, Ph.D. (See address above).

Price:

The DATCAP instrument is in the public domain: copying, using, or reproducing its contents does not require the permission of Dr. French or participating organizations.

Practicability / usefulness:

The DATCAP can be used by treatment programs for self-evaluation purposes and by researchers who are interested in performing cost-effectiveness or benefit-costs analyses of substance abuse services.
The program version can be customized for use by a variety of treatment programs, such as mental health clinics, day treatment centers for alcoholism, outpatient drug abuse treatment programs, and work site employee assistance programs.

Relevant Studies
Economic Evaluation of Alcohol Treatment Services.
French, M.T. Economic Evaluation of Alcohol Treatment Services. In Press.

The objective of the paper is to summarize and critically review the most recent literature on economic evaluation of alcohol treatment services, identify information gaps, and suggest a research agenda for the future. The focus of the review in research published after 1995, although some of the earlier economic studies were also included. Research findings in the literature provide evidence indicating that methods have recently been developed to estimate the dollar value of alcohol treatment outcomes such avoided absenteeism, increased productivity, improved health, and avoided crime. Based on these findings and developments, new treatment approaches and changes in service delivery systems require a fresh perspective on the costs and benefits of alternative treatment services. The findings from economic evaluation studies must be reported in clear and nontechnical terms to an audience of clinicians and politicians so they can be used in the process of decision making.

Cost analysis of training and employment services in methadone treatment.
French, M.T., Bradley, C.J., Calingaert, B., Dennis, M.L., Karuntzos, G.T. Cost analysis of training and employment services in methadone treatment. Evaluation -and Program Planning, 17(2), 107-120, (1994).

This paper presents a cost analysis of developing a training and employment program (TEP) at four methadone treatment programs in a quasi-experimental pilot study. The authors examine the costs of establishing and operating such programs as well as the marginal costs of a TEP component compared to a standard treatment. For both standard and TEP-enhanced treatment, the authors also estimated the average, fixed, and variable costs of these services and compare differences across programs. They examined also the financing of standard methadone treatment to provide additional guidance to program directors and treatment administrators. The cost methodology presented in the paper can be used in other research projects and by treatment providers to generate consistent and comparable costs estimates of standard and enhanced substance abuse treatment programs.

Estimating the economic costs of substance abuse treatment
French, M.T., McGeary, K.A., Estimating the economic costs of substance abuse treatment. Health Economics, 6, 539-544, (1997).

This paper introduces a data collection instrument and method for estimating the economic costs of substance abuse treatment programs. The Drug Abuse Treatment Costs Analysis Program (DATCAP) is based on standard economic principles and the method has recently been tested in two drug abuse intervention studies. Findings from case studied at three treatment programmes are presented to demonstrate the feasibility and reliability of the instrument. The estimation methods and results can be used by treatment programmes for self-evaluation purposes and by researchers who are interested in performing cost-effectiveness or benefit-costs analyses of substance abuse services.

A Structured instrument for Estimating the Economic Costs of Drug Abuse Treatment.
French, M.T., Dunlap, L., Zarkin, G.A., McGeary, K.A., McLellan, A.T. A Structured instrument for Estimating the Economic Costs of Drug Abuse Treatment. The Drug Abuse Treatment Costs Analysis program (DATCAP). Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 14(5), 445-455, (1997).

The paper tries to provide treatment programs with a much-needed technical assistance tool. Specifically, we present a structured and scientifically-based instrument for estimating the economic costs of treatment services. The Drug Abuse Treatment Costs Analysis program (DATCAP) is described in detail along with a companion instrument to analyse treatment financing; the Drug Abuse Treatment Financing Analysis Program (DATFin). The components of both instruments are outlined and findings from a variety of actual case studies are presented. Lastly, the authors discuss the DATCAP User's Manual, which will enable individual programs to begin collecting the necessary data and estimating economic costs at their own clinics.

The costs of an enhanced employee assistance program (EAP) intervention
French, M.T., Dunlap, L.J., Zarkin, G.A., Karuntzos, G. The costs of an enhanced employee assistance program (EAP) intervention. Evaluation and Programming Planning, 21, 227-236, (1998).

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the economic costs of an enhanced Employee Assistance Program (EAP) intervention being delivered through a large Midwestern EAP that services over 90 worksites. Resource use and cost estimates are determined for both developmental and implementation activities. In addition, enhanced service costs are compared with total and average costs of standard EAP services. The results show that total developmental costs were $44,000 and implementation costs for the first year of the intervention were $140,000. The findings provide benchmark cost estimates for other EAPs. In future works, cost estimates will be combined with intervention outcomes for additional program evaluation.

Modified therapeutic community for mentally ill chemical abusers: outcomes and costs.
French, M.T., Sacks, S., DeLeon, G., Staines, G., McKendrick, K. Modified therapeutic community for mentally ill chemical abusers: outcomes and costs. Evaluation & Health Professions, 22(1), 60-85, (1999).

This article presents outcomes and costs of a modified therapeutic community (TC) intervention for homeless mentally ill chemical abusers (MICAs). Outcomes at follow-up are compared for those of a control group of MICAs receiving standard services in a "treatment-as-usual" (TAU) condition. Annual economic costs for the modified therapeutic community and the average weekly costs of treating a simple client are estimated. Treatment and other health service costs at 12 months postbaseline are compared for TC and TAU clients. The results of this study indicate that, suitably modified, the TC approach is an effective treatment alternative for homeless MICAs, with the potential to be highly cost-effective relative to standard services.

A Comparison of Two Methods for Estimating the Costs of Drug Abuse Treatment.
Dunlap, L.J., French, M.T. A Comparison of Two Methods for Estimating the Costs of Drug Abuse Treatment. Journal of Maintenance in the Addictions, 1(3), 29-44, (1998).

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate and compare two methods for calculating treatment costs-accounting and economic. In a related application, the authors illustrate the impact of free and subsidised resources on the cost of substance abuse treatment. One section of the report describes the methods used to collect data for estimating the costs of drug abuse treatment. The cost instrument, the two methods of cost estimation, and the methods used to estimate the value of free and subsidised resources are described. Section 3 describes the findings of four case studies. It includes a description of each case study and summarises the costs of providing treatment at each program. Section 4 highlights the similarities and differences among the costs estimates from the case study programs and presents our concluding remarks.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 July 2004