Deb Adler, CEO of Navigator Healthcare, shares insights on how their innovative platform is transforming access to substance use disorder treatment and support for employees and their families.

In the complex world of employee benefits, substance use disorder (SUD) treatment often falls through the cracks. Enter Navigator Healthcare, a company on a mission to bridge this gap and provide seamless access to critical care. 

In a recent episode of "Healthcare on the Rocks: Employee Benefits with a Twist," Deb Adler, CEO of Navigator Healthcare, discussed how their platform is revolutionizing the way employees and their dependents access SUD treatment.

Below, you’ll find highlights and takeaways from their conversation. Ready to listen to the full episode? Click here.

The Birth of Navigator: Addressing a Critical Need

Navigator Healthcare was launched in 2019 with a clear purpose: to simplify access to substance use disorder treatment. Adler explains, "We tried to build something that was really simple and easy, so we're a simple phone call away for anyone needing help."


The company operates a 24/7 resource center staffed by independently licensed clinicians trained in motivational interviewing. This approach helps individuals commit to and engage in treatment, guiding them to the right care at the right time.

Key Features of Navigator's Approach

  1. Rapid Access: Navigator guarantees connection to same-day or next-day appointments within 48 hours of the initial call, with an impressive 85% success rate for same-day appointments.
  2. Proprietary Platform: A custom-built system allows care navigators to view open appointment schedules of high-performing SUD providers across all 50 states.
  3. Ongoing Support: Navigator doesn't just stop at the initial appointment. They provide continuous guidance throughout the individual's recovery journey, adjusting care recommendations as needs change over time.
  4. Integration with Employer Benefits: The service seamlessly integrates with existing employee assistance programs (EAPs) and other wellness initiatives.

Measuring Success: Impressive Outcomes

Navigator's impact is evident in their key performance metrics:

  • Net Promoter Score consistently over 80, indicating world-class customer satisfaction
  • CAP score (measuring treatment effectiveness) of 4.79 out of 5
  • Typical return on investment for employers of at least 3:1

Addressing Stigma & Expanding Services

While stigma around SUD remains a challenge, Navigator has made strides in expanding its services. Initially focused on adults, the company now supports individuals aged 13 and up, carefully navigating the complexities of consent and regulatory requirements for younger patients.


Adler shares a poignant success story involving a teen who experienced a fentanyl overdose. The mother, who had picked up Navigator's contact information at a benefits fair, called for help when faced with an inadequate discharge plan. Navigator's swift response led to a comprehensive assessment and admission to a specialized youth SUD program, showcasing the real-world impact of their services.

The Future of SUD Treatment in the Workplace

As the landscape of SUD treatment evolves, Navigator is at the forefront of promoting "recovery-ready" workplaces. Adler notes the importance of small changes, such as offering mocktail options at company events, to create a more inclusive environment for those in recovery

The company's focus on confidentiality and privacy is paramount, with no individual data shared back to employers. This approach, combined with their 24/7 availability and diverse, multilingual staff, positions Navigator as a trusted resource for employees dealing with SUD issues.

Navigator Healthcare is transforming the way employees access substance use disorder treatment, offering a beacon of hope in a complex healthcare landscape. By combining technology, clinical expertise, and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals and families affected by SUD, Navigator is paving the way for more effective, accessible care.

As part of the Activate partner marketplace, Navigator's services are easily discoverable. Clients with employees or members struggling with SUD can seamlessly connect with Navigator through Activate, streamlining the process of accessing crucial support and treatment resources.


To learn more about Navigator Healthcare and how they can support your organization, visit their website at navigator.health

Listen to the full podcast episode here.
Explore the Navigator Healthcare and Springbuk partnership here