Debra Nussbaum, PhD, LCSW

Senior Director of Behavioral Health & National SUD Strategy Lead, Optum

About Me

Dr. Debra “Deb” Nussbaum is a Sr. Director for Behavioral Health and is the National SUD strategy lead for Optum reporting into the Office of the Chief Medical Officer. Optum is the behavioral health specialty arm of United Healthcare Insurance Company. Deb has been in a clinical leadership role for Optum since 2010 and has led behavioral product design, network development and specifically substance use disorder (SUD) initiatives since 2013. Deb’s products within Optum are designed to improve access to evidence based services, such as the adoption and roll out of the American Society of Addiction medicine (ASAM) criteria, expansion of Optum’s MOUD/MAUD network, implementation of the 24/7 SUD helpline and development of alternative payment and value based models of care. Deb also leads parity compliant benefit design initiatives for customers looking to address specific utilization trends for their population. Deb’s clinical background is in substance use treatment, family services and was an addictions counselor prior to earning her PhD. She is also an LCSW licensed in Florida and in New York. Deb sits on many committees within ASAM and is an advocate for evidence based care at the federal level championing SUD legislation.


The Arizona Biltmore & online!

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