ASAM Update With Positive Developments

ASAM Update With Positive Developments

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RCPA members are working hard to get appropriate staff trained in the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) screening and assessment tool. The in-person requirement has made it difficult and costly due to scheduling, limited training opportunities, and lost revenue from down time. RCPA has been researching the effectiveness of eLearning and trying to make a case for allowing some staff to do the online training instead of the in-person training; it is important to note that it is not only the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) that is requiring the in-person training. RCPA’s communications with The Change Company (that owns all rights to the ASAM) made it clear that all staff using ASAM must attend the in-person, two day training. All staff providing assessments and all counselors that will be working with the ASAM criteria must be trained. Some of RCPA’s larger members have over 200 staff that must be trained in person, which makes it a major challenge.

Some Positive Updates Include:

  1. It is clear to all that the July 1, 2018 deadline will be impossible to meet; as a result, DDAP will be reviewing the progress in April and a new deadline will be determined.
  2. DDAP is clearly aware of the barriers to training, such as costs of downtime and the limited training availability at this time. DDAP has emphasized that there will be no negative consequences to providers due to the inability to get staff trained.
  3. There will be a Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (PCPC) summary sheet included with the Web Information Technology System (WITS) to help fill the gap until all appropriate staff are trained. However, it is crucial that members continue the difficult process of getting appropriate staff trained as soon as possible.
  4. RCPA has been strongly advocating for financial assistance to members to cover the training costs. After numerous discussions with state officials and behavioral health managed care organizations (BH-MCOs), oversight bodies, and single county authorities (SCAs), it is clear that all are aware of the need for financial assistance. One plan shared by several officials was that some SCAs will be considering providing assistance (including lost revenue from down time) to providers by making year end contract revisions, if funds are available. Several oversight bodies and BH-MCOs have already provided significant support for training and implementation. All members experiencing problems getting staff trained are encouraged to contact their SCAs. If the SCA does not provide assistance, it is recommended that providers contact their BH-MCOs to request assistance.

DDAP is posting periodic FAQs to their website. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Lynn Cooper.

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