DDAP Modifies ASAM Transition Web Page, Archives Addendums That Outlined IOP Ratio and Daily Therapeutic Hour “Expectations”
The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has overhauled its ASAM Transition web page, removing previous references to “expectations for contractual compliance” in areas of ASAM Criteria where DDAP originally went beyond the Criteria as explicitly written. Newly revised information, including an updated “Guidance for the Application of The American Society of Addiction Medicine, 3rd Edition, 2013 in the Pennsylvania Substance Use Disorder Treatment System for Adults” and “ASAM Frequently Asked Questions” document, references the 1:15 intensive outpatient (IOP) counselor-to-patient ratio and the six to eight daily therapeutic hours at residential level of care as a DDAP “recommendation.”
The change is significant because, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuses Services (OMHSAS), per its HealthChoices Behavioral Health Program Standards and Requirements for Primary Contractors document, “the Primary Contractor and its BHMCO must ensure that the SUD providers in the network comply with program standards in the ASAM Criteria, included but not limited to admission criteria, discharge criteria, interventions/types of services, hours of clinical care, and credentials of staff as set forth in the ASAM transition requirements found at https://www.ddap.pa.gov/Professionals/Pages/ASAM-Transition.aspx.” In other words, providers were expected to be in compliance with any information published as an expectation on that page.
For months following DDAP’s testimony in Commonwealth Court that the IOP and daily therapeutic overreaches were simply “guidelines,” the provider community remained unclear on whether they would be required to comply with the “guidelines” as part of their contracts with the BHMCOs. Still, providers have not yet seen the evaluation tool that will be used to audit their compliance with ASAM Criteria despite DDAP’s expectation that they be “substantially aligned” with those Criteria by Jan. 1, 2022.