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    Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

    Welcome to the first of what we hope will be many blogs. Our intention is to write commentary about the most important issues facing substance use disorder and mental health treatment providers in Pennsylvania, providing not only the facts of the situation, but our views and opinions on them. Our work with and on behalf of our members as well as our personal experiences will largely drive this blog. We know what is important to you. After all, you set our agenda. But if you have an idea about what we should be covering or an opinion or comment about what we’ve written, we want to know. We look forward to your thoughts as our new effort to provide thought leadership and foster dialog on the day’s most important behavioral health issues unfolds.

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      In 2016, I had the great opportunity to watch and participate in the birth of Pennsylvania’s Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Centers of Excellence (COEs). In fact, my role at the Department of Human Services (DHS) as special assistant to the secretary was exclusively to support the implementation and operation of the COEs. Today, with a changed vantage point but still close to the COEs, I am afraid I am watching the program’s demise as seven years of consistent requirements and expectations give way to a mishmash of wildly varying requirements across five behavioral health managed care organizations (BH-MCOs) that threaten the integrity and jeopardize the sustainability of the program… [click “continue” button to read more].