Drug & Alcohol

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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: https://arcg.is/yqC5C 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.

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(From DDAP)

Funding-Related Opportunities: BJA Grant Applicant Webinar Education Series
To assist potential applicants interested in applying for FY 2019 funding opportunities, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is hosting a series of educational webinars. For more information and to register, visit BJA’s Grant Applicant Education Series Webinars page or see below.

The First Steps to Applying: Prepare Now
When: January 31, 2019, 1:00 p.m., ET
Panelist: Greg Torain, Policy Advisor, BJA
Prior to the release of a solicitation, there are a number of steps that applicants can take. Attendees will learn what registrations are necessary to apply, how to navigate Grants.gov, and what resources are available for applicants, such as the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Funding Resource Center.
A Q&A session will follow at the end of the webinar.

The Federal Funding Process: What New and Seasoned Applicants Should Consider
When: February 5, 2019, 1:00 p.m., ET
Panelist: Tara Kunkel, Senior Drug Policy Advisor, IPA
Applying for an OJP grant can be a challenging process. This webinar will educate participants on the necessary steps for a first-time applicant, will explain how the OJP grant process works, and will focus on what applicants should understand when applying for funding. Attendees will learn:
·        How to find the critical elements of a solicitation.
·        What applications should include.
·        Tips for developing a budget.
·        How the peer review process works.
A Q&A session will follow at the end of the webinar.

Submitting Your Application: Avoid These Common Mistakes
When: February 7, 2019, 1:00 p.m., ET
Panelist: Andre Bethea, Policy Advisor, BJA
This webinar will provide guidance for applicants on how to avoid common application mistakes. Attendees will learn:
·        The importance of using the Application Checklist.
·        How applications are successfully submitted.
·        How subawards can be incorporated into an application.
·        How to attach documents.
A Q&A session will follow at the end of the webinar.

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

The Behavioral Health and Economics Network (BHECON) is an initiative launched by The National Council for Behavioral Health. BHECON was created to unite diverse stakeholders to identify, examine, and advance policy reform to strengthen states’ mental health delivery systems.

RCPA receives funding from BHECON to support efforts that represent and advance RCPA Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol providers’ policy reform needs. RCPA is part of a cohort of states that include Missouri, Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The BHECON team worked with RCPA staff to develop a survey to begin collecting vital information on factors and issues that impact Pennsylvania’s mental health and drug & alcohol workforce and capacity. Please take a moment to complete this survey.

Your responses will provide us with preliminary data to support our discussions and much needed focus on the challenges faced by health and human services providers across the Commonwealth.

For more information about BHECON and to catch up on Pennsylvania-specific information, please visit the website.

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Speaker at Business convention and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is pleased to announce a FREE certification seminar in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Rational Living Therapy). This comprehensive, 3-day seminar, led by Dr. Aldo Pucci, takes the best of the cognitive-behavioral approaches and delivers them in a systematic manner so attendees can begin implementing it immediately.

Seminars include a comprehensive manual, certification, and 18 continuing education hours from the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (NACBT), and the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). There are requirements to register. More information can be found in this one-pager.

Seating is limited! Please register in DDAP’s Training Management System. All questions relative to this opportunity can be forwarded to this email or 717-736-7452.

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As part of the State Opioid Response federal funding awarded to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), the department has worked with the Department of Health to develop a substance use disorder (SUD) loan repayment program. The program will offer loan repayment to practitioners who provide behavioral health care and treatment for substance use disorder and opioid addiction in designated health professional shortage areas and designated high substance use counties. The program is set to launch in mid-February. For more information, there is a one-pager describing the project in more detail. Please direct questions regarding the project to this email.

RCPA and others have strongly advocated for this loan assistance for substance use disorder treatment staff. RCPA will continue to advocate for increases to the amount allocated for this crucial workforce recruitment opportunity.