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Tags Posts tagged with "DDAP"

DDAP

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The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) sent an announcement out to the drug and alcohol community warning of incorrect routing of calls for treatment placement. The purpose of the announcement is to make single county authorities (SCAs) and treatment providers aware of an issue that has been occurring more frequently over the past few days. Individuals from the general public have been using Google to locate treatment providers and/or SCAs and the phone number Google shows for the facility is NOT that of the SCA/provider. Apparently, scammers are working to direct unsuspecting people in need of treatment to programs in Florida. As to be expected, their interest is only with people who have private insurance. These scams are creating roadblocks to treatment and major confusion for those seeking needed treatment. Numerous RCPA members have verified that these acts are creating major problems. Members have reported that these companies, and ones like them, are using false and misleading advertising/tactics and illegally using the identities of treatment providers here in Pennsylvania.

DDAP reported that it appears there is an option on Google where the SCA/provider can suggest an edit to the incorrect information and by doing so, can select scam/scammer as the reason for the change. DDAP is working hard to get callers the correct contact information for the SCA/provider. Individual agencies may want to attempt to correct the information on the web search engines whenever possible. Questions should be directed to Lynn Cooper.

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Representative Gene DiGirolamo proposed a resolution seeking relief at the federal level from the implementation of part of a rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, regarding Medicaid and FMAP for inpatient stays in an institution for the mental diseases (IMD). This resolution requests that the president halt implementation of a new Medicaid rule that would potentially be quite harmful to the Commonwealth’s efforts to address the current drug epidemic.

This new rule limits the federal Medicaid match to 15 days a month – too short for patients who need inpatient care to recover. The implementation of this rule will do damage to low-income/impoverished people with addictions, including pregnant addicted women, women with dependent children, and low-level drug offenders coming out of jails and prisons.

Both the Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs and the Department of Human Services are on record opposing this new rule. The Department of Human Services projects the loss of funding to PA to be $180 million a year in matching Medicaid dollars.

29 US senators and 46 governors are also on record opposing implementation of this rule. RCPA thanks Representative DiGirolamo for his leadership and strong support.

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The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) sends a call to all inpatient, detox, and residential treatment providers in a recent notice: “The current opioid addiction and overdose death epidemic has created great demand for and strain on our treatment system. To more effectively use the treatment beds available in the Pennsylvania drug and alcohol treatment system, [DDAP] has developed the PA Open Beds tool. This tool allows licensed inpatient drug and alcohol treatment providers to voluntarily share their bed availability as well as view bed availability of other providers. The PA Open Beds tool is also intended as a resource for those who refer patients (e.g., single county authorities, outpatient treatment providers, certified recovery specialists) to inpatient treatment.

This system is voluntary and has been developed to improve the referral process, ensuring more immediate and appropriate referrals to detox and residential treatment for individuals in need of it. DDAP is requesting that each licensed non-hospital detox 3A and inpatient residential 3B or 3C treatment providers register to access and share information on available beds through this new system. All users of the site must first download and complete the registration form.

Only licensed inpatient treatment providers will be able to enter bed information into the site. All other users will have read-only access. Once registered, licensed inpatient treatment providers will be able to add and update their bed availability as often as they choose. All users will be able to view bed availability as well as receive email notifications daily, weekly, or immediately when the site is updated with new bed availability information. Please email for further assistance.

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DDAP releases recommendations for certifying Recovery Houses. RCPA members are strongly encouraged to provide comments.

“The Certified Drug and Alcohol Recovery Housing Task Force has submitted its recommendations to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) for certifying recovery houses in the Commonwealth. The draft recommendations are now available online for 30 days for public comment. Following the public comment period and final DDAP review of the recommendations and comments, the department will announce the final standards for recovery housing certification and the process for becoming certified.

Led by PRO-A, Pennsylvania’s statewide alliance of recovery organizations, the Certified Drug and Alcohol Recovery Housing Task Force was charged with developing and submitting recommendations to DDAP on the certification of drug and alcohol recovery houses, taking into consideration related issues such as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, protection of consumers, legitimate community concerns, discriminatory practices, and recovery house owners and operators. The task force included representation from law enforcement, treatment providers, recovery housing operators, county and state drug and alcohol agencies, and advocacy and recovery-support groups.”

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The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is concerned about the rise in hepatitis C cases in Pennsylvania (PA), particularly among persons who inject drugs (IDU).  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing for those who currently inject any type of drug (Opioids, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, etc.) or have injected drugs in the past, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago.  PA has experienced a dramatic increase in hepatitis C infections in individuals with injection opioid and/or heroin addiction who are 18 to 35 years of age.  DDAP recommends that all licensed drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities perform a risk assessment for HCV and refer to medical or community based providers for necessary screening/testing as appropriate.

 

Because many individuals you serve are at high risk for hepatitis C, you play an important role in combating this public health issue.  If you have current practices that you believe are effective in combating this disease, we would appreciate you sharing these with us so we can promote them across the field.  Please send this information to DDAP Treatment, Prevention & Intervention Bureau Director, Angela Episale, at aepisale@pa.gov.   

 

Through improved identification and treatment of individuals with hepatitis C, we can begin to reduce the spread of this disease.  Please remember to obtain consumer consent and maintain confidentiality when sharing test results with the consumers’ primary care physicians or other physical health specialists involved in hepatitis treatment.  In some cases, you may be able to utilize a Qualified Service Organization Agreement (QSOA) to permit the exchange of patient identifying information.  If you have questions about when this is possible, please contact our Division of Licensing Acting Director, Gary Stauffer, at gstauffer@pa.gov.

 

For more information regarding hepatitis C testing of IDU clientele, please contact:

 

Charles Howsare, MD, MPH

Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator

PA Department of Health

717-787-3350

chowsare@pa.gov

 

Thank you for your critical assistance in controlling hepatitis C in PA.

 

Contact Person: Angela Episale, 717-736-7438

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The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has determined there is a need to remove barriers to treatment access and to assist facilities in their efforts to effectively utilize physical plant and human resources to best meet the needs of individuals entering residential treatment.

With this goal in mind, DDAP has decided a facility may be permitted, upon request and approval by DDAP, to utilize empty beds in one activity to conduct services provided in the other activity, otherwise referred to as ‘flex beds’.

This process only applies to a facility already licensed to provide both Residential Detoxification (hospital or nonhospital) and Residential Rehabilitation (hospital or nonhospital) at the same location.  This process does not apply to any non-residential treatment activities.

The Department assigns each treatment activity with a specific capacity limit.  Residential Detoxification and Residential Rehabilitation Activities are assigned capacities based on the number of beds in a facility in relation to the required square footage in each room.

Prior to the ‘flex bed’ approach, when a facility had several empty beds in one activity, but was overflowing in the other, the facility was required to remain within the capacity granted by the Department for that activity and would need to refer the patients elsewhere or turn them away from treatment.

The ‘flex bed’ approach will allow the facility to place additional individuals in empty beds of the other licensed activity.  For example, a facility in need of an additional detoxification bed would be allowed to utilize an empty residential bed, thus more fully utilizing the available beds.  The reverse would also be permitted.  For personnel purposes, facilities may utilize counselors as primary care staff on the detox unit when utilizing the additional detox beds; however, staff from detox must meet staffing regulations to qualify for residential program (i.e., an LPN qualifies as detox primary care staff; however, does not meet qualifications as primary care staff in residential programs).  This approach may assist facilities from turning clients away from treatment or needing to refer them elsewhere.

A facility must submit an exception request to be considered for approval to flex beds between the residential detoxification and residential rehabilitation activities.  Please refer to Licensing Alert 4-97 on the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs web page at www.ddap.pa.gov for specific instructions on how to submit an exception request.  Further clarification regarding ‘Licensed Capacity’ can be found at Licensing Alert 1-94.

Facilities approved to flex beds will be subject to a review of that approval during the annual licensing inspections or other on site reviews.  When a facility finds it is constantly utilizing a set number of beds in excess of the approved capacity for any particular activity, the facility is encouraged to submit a capacity increase request for that activity.

Any questions should be directed to Gary Stauffer, Acting Director, Program Licensure Division, at 717-783-8675.

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On September 4, 2014, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) passed the first set of regulations advanced by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP). As reported, a small group of RCPA members worked for several months reviewing the regulations line-by-line. RCPA is pleased to report that all of the recommendations from the association were accepted by DDAP and, after a long process, the Drug and Alcohol Facilities and Services and companion Standards for Licensure of Freestanding Treatment Facilities were approved unanimously by IRRC.

It appears that this information has not yet reached some providers. A final copy of each set of new regulations is available online through the above links. Contact Lynn Cooper with any questions.

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RCPA sent a letter to the leadership and support of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), requesting that a task force be formed to review and change the extremely outdated drug and alcohol medical assistance outpatient regulations, Chapter 1223 Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Clinic Services. OMHSAS did an outstanding job of organizing a task force and developing regulation changes for mental health outpatient services. These much improved regulations are in the last stages of being finalized. The same process needs to be implemented for drug and alcohol outpatient services. As stated many times before, outpatient treatment in Pennsylvania is at risk of collapse.

A number of years ago, RCPA (known as PCPA at the time) developed a white paper, which highlights the value of outpatient services, reviews the current challenges/threats to services, and outlines what needs to happen to assure the viability of these critical services. The paper emphasizes that when utilized appropriately, outpatient treatment can save millions of dollars in inpatient and emergency room costs. The paper also highlights specific clinical, regulatory, and financial challenges, and makes recommendations for changes in both mental health and drug and alcohol services.

As with the mental health outpatient regulation changes, changes in the drug and alcohol outpatient regulations will save money, improve access and services, reduce unnecessary paperwork, update clinical terminology, update treatment trends, and improve outcomes.

RCPA requested that a time limited group of stakeholders be convened to evaluate drug and alcohol outpatient medical assistance regulation issues and make recommendations for much needed changes. Given the current issues that exist, this task force needs to be implemented as soon as possible. Contact Lynn Cooper with questions or for any additional information.