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DDAP Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith

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.