Tags Posts tagged with "Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs"

Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

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RCPA sent this information out previously; however, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has reported that there was very little response. This information is critically needed as DDAP advocates for support for services provided. Members have been providing some services that are costly but never reimbursed; DDAP is working to rectify this. Please complete the survey ASAP — Your input is needed, thank you.

Below is the request from DDAP:

Dear SUD Treatment Provider,

With the current transition to ASAM, DDAP and DHS are working to establish provider designations for 3.5 and 3.7 levels of care. To accomplish this, providers of residential services were asked to complete a survey to provide information necessary for this designation process. However, a large portion of providers did not complete the requested information. This will impact those of you who contract (or plan to contract) with an SCA or BH-MCO. Therefore, it is imperative that a survey be completed for each licensed facility delivering these levels of care.

Below are two links for the same survey. If you have difficulty accessing the survey using one link, please try the other; however, complete only ONE survey per licensed facility.

If you have already completed the survey as a result of the two prior requests to do so, please DO NOT complete it a second time. If you are receiving this email, but are not the person within your agency who would be responsible for completing the survey, please forward it to the appropriate person. Preparation is already underway to notify those providers who have already responded. It is the responsibility of the provider organizations to complete this information in order to receive a level of care designation by the state. Thank you for your attention to this request.

Please contact RCPA Drug and Alcohol Division Director Lynn Cooper with questions.

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On behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is pleased to announce the solicitation for contractors to submit qualifications for the statewide Residential Housing and Treatment Services Invitation to Quality (ITQ). Contractors which meet the ITQ qualifications will be awarded a contract and will be eligible to respond to Requests for Quotes (RFQ) for various types of consulting services to commonwealth agencies and Local Public Procurement Units.

We encourage providers to review the Residential Housing and Treatment ITQ to determine eligibility and provide submissions by August 31, 2018. Use this link to access the Commonwealth’s Emarketplace. From here, you can search using the solicitation number 4400019622.

Lastly, if your organization is not an eligible contractor, please feel free to forward the information to appropriate organizations.

Thank you in advance for your submissions,
The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Rachel Kostelac | Communications Director
Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
One Penn Center, 5th Floor
2601 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717.547.3314 | Fax: 717.214.1939
www.ddap.pa.gov

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As you know, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is working hard to implement the new American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria. Below is a brief summary of some of the plans for implementation and DDAP’s efforts to assist providers.

  1. The new deadline for having staff trained has been extended to December 31, 2018.
  2. The department is allowing ASAM trained supervisors to sign off on assessments done by staff that have not yet been trained.
  3. DDAP is encouraging SCAs and BHMCOs to help with training costs and the cost of downtime. End of the year adjustments have been mentioned most often as the method of covering these costs. DDAP is also working to ensure that if any SCAs have leftover funds, they will be directed to other counties that do not have any funds available to help providers.
  4. Providers are being permitted to use the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (PCPC) until staff have received the ASAM training.
  5. The crosswalk document for ASAM/PCPC has been released, along with a new guidance document for the application of ASAM.
  6. Online training will be increasingly available after the initial transition period.
  7. DDAP is holding tight to the in-person training requirement; however, they have agreed to consider a waiver for online on a case-by-case basis. For example, if staff are part time and not able to take the in-person training due to other work commitments, online training will be considered.

From the recent RCPA D&A member survey, it was clear that extending the deadline and getting reimbursed for the costs/downtime were most important to members. RCPA will inform members if things are working as planned or not working. Please keep us posted on what is happening locally. Contact RCPA Drug & Alcohol Division Director Lynn Cooper with any questions.

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has prepared and distributed a plan for regulatory revisions to be made over the next several years. While there are many regulations currently under review, this plan identifies the next round of revisions. In addition, OMHSAS will work with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) as indicated while revising the regulations. For more information, please contact OMHSAS directly.

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The Department of Health (DOH), in cooperation with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), and the Department of Human Services (DHS), will be convening six regional meetings with stakeholders across the state to address the issue of providing a warm hand-off for opioid overdose survivors. The purpose of these meetings will be to develop the framework for localized plans, ensuring seamless transfer of care from first responders to the emergency department and then to the local treatment providers.

RCPA has been invited to meet with representatives of DOH, DDAP, and DHS to discuss the association’s perspective as the departments move forward with their planning efforts. A number of RCPA members have successfully established warm handoffs with first responders and/or their local emergency rooms; others have tried and encountered obstacles. Please take a few minutes of your time and email Lynn Cooper with any successes, challenges, or other experiences you are able to share. Thank you, as always, for your assistance and input.

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RCPA received a letter from Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith on November 22, which provided an update on the Commonwealth’s transition to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria placement guidelines. DDAP is progressing with this transition and remains on track for full implementation as of July 1, 2018. As previously reported, all ASAM Criteria training will be conducted by ASAM’s official training partner, The Change Companies™, and their sister organization, Train for Change.

DDAP has stated that all individuals working in the substance use disorder treatment and case management field, whose primary, day-to-day work function involves assessment and level of care placement, and who have not previously had ASAM Criteria 3rd Edition training, must have the two-day, in-person training. This is creating a significant financial burden. A two-day, in-person training will incur high costs to providers, given that the in-person requirement takes staff out of the clinic, and renders them unavailable to provide services which the agencies need to bill for in order to keep their doors open. Several members have estimated that the cost to train all of their staff in the in-person model will be upwards of $100,000, which includes time away from the office, travel costs, and training costs. Some managed care companies, Single County Authorities, and oversight bodies are purchasing ASAM books and funding the actual training. While this is much appreciated and helpful, it does not come close to addressing the overall cost to the provider.

RCPA is working on a formal request to DDAP to allow staff trained in and knowledgeable about the Pennsylvania’s Client Placement Criteria (PCPC) to be allowed to do the training via eTraining. Apparently, the Change Companies have high quality webcasts available for ASAM training. We are in the process of gathering data that supports this training format. We have received some helpful information from IRETA and are looking for more to support our position. If you are aware of additional supportive data available, please send it to Lynn Cooper as soon as possible.

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From DDAP:

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has reached a decision that the new DDAP Data System (PA WITS) will not include an upload capability. SCAs and Providers will be required to manually enter all required data elements into PA WITS. A thorough cost-benefit analysis was conducted to determine the feasibility of incorporating upload capability into PA WITS Solution. After evaluating the successful implementation of 30 other states with the WITS System, which did not include an upload capability; Pennsylvania chose to follow the proven delivery model for WITS which requires manual entry of data without upload. DDAP has been working with FEi Systems, the developer of PA WITS, to explore the potential for agencies to export the data entered into PA WITS into their own existing electronic health records as a means to reduce time spent entering information into multiple systems. DDAP will keep SCAs and providers apprised of the viability of this option.

As you are aware, when DDAP’s previous data system was decommissioned, treatment providers were notified of the need to continue to collect and retain Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) information for all SCA-funded clients beginning September 1, 2015, through the present. Along with that notice, DDAP issued several forms to identify the required data elements to be captured, DDAP EFM-1000 – Client Profile, DDAP EFM-1005 – Client Admission, and DDAP EFM-1007 – Client Discharge. To assist with the challenge of manually entering the data from this time period, DDAP has worked with FEi Systems to implement a basic version of WITS on April 17, 2017. This will afford treatment providers additional time to enter the back data in order for DDAP to meet its deadline for Federal Reporting in the fall of 2017. There are several issues that we plan to address between now and the rollout of Basic WITS on April 17, 2017 including:

  • Distribute a policy bulletin outlining the required course of action and indicate the staggered timeframes established for entering the data from September 1, 2015, through the present
  • Send a meeting invite for a live webcast featuring a “Status Update and PA WITS Introduction”
  • Publish training videos and user manuals for PA WITS users
  • Distribute requested user login information to providers and SCAs

We appreciate your patience and cooperation in taking the required steps to meet federal reporting requirements for block grant funding.

Note: DDAP staff will be attending the next RCPA Drug and Alcohol Committee Meeting set for Tuesday, April 11. All interested members are encouraged to attend.

RCPA just received this major announcement from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP):

“I am writing this morning to inform you of a major decision that’s been made by DDAP leadership and is being announced today to our stakeholders. We have, in consultation with the Governor’s Policy Office and the Office of General Counsel, weighed our options for continuing the use of our PCPC (Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria) tool for determining the appropriate level of care for an individual seeking treatment or already within our treatment system. After weighing the options, we have decided that the benefits of using a customized tool no longer exceed the benefits of using the nationally recognized ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) tool. One reason for the transition stems from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicaid Managed Care Final Rule that was issued last summer, which will limit federal reimbursement for residential treatment of Medicaid recipients to 15 days. In response to that rule, and specifically the provision related to the IMD exclusion, Pennsylvania aims to better position ourselves in submitting a 1115 waiver to CMS related to the IMD exclusion. The 1115 waiver application requires the use of the ASAM tool. This issue surrounding the IMD exclusion is not the only reason for making the change, however. The newly acquired treatment data system is already equipped with the ASAM continuum of care which will make this new system more usable with fewer modifications, which limits the risk of future system maintenance issues. Additionally, because the ASAM is currently utilized for placement decisions related to adolescents, and by many commercial insurance providers for both adults as well as adolescents, converting to this tool will create consistency for providers and payers across the treatment system.

While there are multiple advantages to this conversion, we understand that it will not come without its challenges. We have a team of employees who are currently in the process of establishing a strategic plan for transitioning from the PCPC to the ASAM and will be gathering input from stakeholders and establish a workable process that moves us to the use of the ASAM over time, with the goal of full implementation occurring by July 2018. I will continue to keep you posted on the progress and impacts of this effort. I would ask that this become a standing agenda item in our meetings with your membership.”

– Jennifer S. Smith | Acting Secretary, DDAP

RCPA looks forward to being a part of this major conversion.

Governor Wolf announced Tuesday afternoon that Gary Tennis, Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), will no longer hold that position. The governor did not state a reason for Tennis’ departure; RCPA will report any further details as they become available. Deputy Secretary Jen Smith will serve as Acting Secretary. View the governor’s official press release here.