Authors Posts by Lynn Cooper

Lynn Cooper

Lynn Cooper is focused on drug and alcohol, criminal justice, and cross-systems issues. Ms. Cooper attends multiple state-level meetings and is the key staff liaison for the RCPA Drug & Alcohol and Criminal Justice Committees. She also represents RCPA in the western part of Pennsylvania.

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The Pennsylvania Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Loan Repayment Program provides grant funding for educational loan repayment to health care practitioners where the high use of opioids is evident and where a shortage of health care providers exists. Educational loan repayment is an incentive to recruitment and retention of practitioners for service in counties with a high prevalence of substance use disorder, as well as underserved communities.

The Request for Applications (RFA) #67-86 can be downloaded from this web page.

  • Applications are being accepted from May 1, 2019 until 11:59 pm June 3, 2019.
  • Program information, application procedures and application instructions are found in RFA#67-86.
  • All applications must be submitted via the SUD Loan Repayment Program’s web-based application through the link on the above web page.
  • Questions regarding this RFA must be submitted via email on or before May 12, 2019. No questions will be answered via phone or email. Answers to all questions submitted by May 12, 2019 will be posted on the above website by May 17, 2019 and will be considered an addendum to the RFA.

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The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Bureau of Treatment, Prevention, and Intervention released an information bulletin reminding drug and alcohol treatment providers to alert emergency contacts if a patient leaves against medical advice (AMA) or against treatment advice (ATA). The bulletin contains information about policies and procedures, as well as contact information for questions about the bulletin.

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The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has opportunities for Drug and Alcohol or Mental Health providers to enter into a grant agreement for funding to provide outpatient treatment services to people with a Gambling Disorder and their loved ones.

Per the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), problem gambling includes all gambling and gaming behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt, or damage person, family, or vocational pursuits. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has serious financial consequences. It is estimated that 2 million (1%) of U.S. adults meet the criteria for pathological gambling in a given year. While responsible gambling and gaming can occur, a person with a gambling disorder does not gamble responsibly and their behavior interferes with all aspects of their life. Gambling can alter a person’s mood and offer the same effect as a person ingesting drugs or alcohol and over time, the gambler finds themselves developing tolerance and increasing their gambling behaviors to achieve the same emotional effects as before.  In addition, family members and significant others can be severely affected by the gambler’s behaviors and the consequences of problem gambling.

Not all insurances provide benefits for a primary diagnosis of a gambling disorder. When insurances do offer benefits for a gambling disorder, often patients are faced with high deductibles or copays that they are unable to afford due to the financial consequences of a gambling disorder. This is where DDAP can help. As a payor of last resort, DDAP has funds available for treatment services to persons with a gambling disorder and their families or significant other. As a provider with a DDAP grant agreement you will receive reimbursement for outpatient services at $85.00/ per individual session and $35/ per group session.  In addition, you may also receive client referrals from the DDAP website and/or the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline. DDAP has staff dedicated to supporting you as a provider and will assist you along with the required client forms and annual monitoring process.

Free training is available to those who do not currently have a certificate for problem gambling treatment. Trainings are paid for by DDAP and provided by the Council on Compulsive Gambling in Pennsylvania, Inc. and you can visit the DDAP website to register for the Gambling Counselor Certification Level 1 training or call the Training Section at 717-736-7452.

To complete a provider application, log onto the DDAP website and review the qualifications.  Questions regarding the grant and application should be directed to Amy Hubbard or by phone at 717-736-7562.

New Publication
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the Criminal Justice System: Brief Guidance to the States

The opioid epidemic has significantly penetrated the criminal justice (CJ) system. This brief provides guidance to state governments on increasing the availability of evidence-based MAT in CJ settings. By including the CJ system as a path to treatment, states may see an increase in access to and retention in treatment, and lower rates of overdoses, re-offending, and re-incarcerations. In this brief, states are provided an overview of the issue, the challenges to incorporating MAT, key considerations for establishing MAT in CJ settings, and existing standards/guidelines.

Inventory#: PEP19-MATBRIEFCJS  |  Download the Brief Guidance

Contact Lynn Cooper, RCPA Drug & Alcohol Division Director, with questions.

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Webinar Wednesdays: Preview Spring Webinars
The Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA) spring calendar is filling up quickly. IRETA is bringing three addiction experts to Webinar Wednesday where they will present on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), opioid harm reduction, and more. Find more information and registration links here.

Folders with the label Applications and Grants

Two funding opportunities have been published by the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant windows. One is for the program as has been operated annually (Traditional DLT) and one is for projects related to prevention, treatment, or recovery for opioid use disorder in rural areas (Opioid DLT). Please note the applications are not the same and the programs have different funding window closings.

Who is eligible?
For both programs, eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications, including:

  • Most state and local governmental entities;
  • Federally-recognized Tribes;
  • Non-profits;
  • For-profit businesses; and
  • Consortia of eligible entities.

For more information see the documents below or visit the USDA website.

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RCPA received the following memorandum today from Ellen DiDomenico, Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and Lynn Kovich, Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS)/Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS):

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Level of Care Designation

  1. Pennsylvania is in the process of fully transitioning to the ASAM Criteria, 2013. The use of the ASAM Criteria as a level of care (LOC) placement was initiated on July 1, 2018, with full transition as an admission criterion on January 1, 2019.
  1. In addition to providing LOC placement guidance, the ASAM Criteria provides evidence-based program criteria and a recovery oriented, person-centered approach to care. Transitioning our system to full use of the Criteria for these purposes will occur over time.
  1. There are some LOCs in the ASAM Criteria that have not been previously identified in PA’s system of care or that have existed but have not been clearly defined, e.g., the ASAM Criteria’s 3.3 and 3.7 LOCs. Additionally, while some previous work regarding the delivery of co-occurring services was initiated, this effort was never brought to completion.
  1. Historically, Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (PCPC) has defined residential treatment as “medically monitored” or “medically managed.” The ASAM Criteria includes “clinically managed.” DDAP and DHS are currently in the process of aligning our understanding and required provision of services and staffing qualifications that determine each of these designations.
  1. In September 2018, an email went out to licensed inpatient providers (except those only doing withdrawal management) requesting submission of information via a Survey Monkey to assist the departments in making these preliminary designations.
  1. From this information, DDAP/DHS is in the process of sending out letters to each facility, by license, identifying LOCs that have been initially determined to deliver a type of service/LOC. This determination does not dictate a service that the provider MUST offer; rather, it indicates what it MAY offer. Receipt of this designation does not mean that the payor should, at this time, offer a differential rate or that a provider should currently expect such a differential rate as we are not at that stage in the transition process. Moving forward, impacts to rate setting will be determined as a system, with guidance from the departments to ensure consistency with expectations in process across the state.
  1. DDAP has been working with a Rate Setting Committee as it relates to residential rates payable to providers by SCAs. This same committee will be considering how the transition to ASAM could impact this process. BH-MCOs establish rates independently; however, communications will remain fluid between DHS and the BH-MCOs and contractors to inform the BH-MCOs of the rate process implemented for SCA contracting. The rate setting process will remain between the BH-MCO and the provider. Until a formal announcement has been made regarding fee structures and rate setting, providers and payers should maintain the provision of and payment for non-hospital residential services as they have been.
  1. Providers who never completed the survey necessary for designation should do so at this link: as soon as possible, but no later than April 30, 2019. This will allow DDAP/DHS to complete a designation for those providers that have not yet received one. All designations will be confirmed by both departments through the regular onsite licensing visit.
  1. Direct questions pertaining to the ASAM Criteria transition via email.
  1. To receive the latest updates, all stakeholders are encouraged to sign up for DDAP’s Listserv by emailing your name(s), organization, and email address(es). Please include “Listserv” the subject line.