Tags Posts tagged with "PCPC"


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As you know, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is working hard to implement the new American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria. Below is a brief summary of some of the plans for implementation and DDAP’s efforts to assist providers.

  1. The new deadline for having staff trained has been extended to December 31, 2018.
  2. The department is allowing ASAM trained supervisors to sign off on assessments done by staff that have not yet been trained.
  3. DDAP is encouraging SCAs and BHMCOs to help with training costs and the cost of downtime. End of the year adjustments have been mentioned most often as the method of covering these costs. DDAP is also working to ensure that if any SCAs have leftover funds, they will be directed to other counties that do not have any funds available to help providers.
  4. Providers are being permitted to use the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (PCPC) until staff have received the ASAM training.
  5. The crosswalk document for ASAM/PCPC has been released, along with a new guidance document for the application of ASAM.
  6. Online training will be increasingly available after the initial transition period.
  7. DDAP is holding tight to the in-person training requirement; however, they have agreed to consider a waiver for online on a case-by-case basis. For example, if staff are part time and not able to take the in-person training due to other work commitments, online training will be considered.

From the recent RCPA D&A member survey, it was clear that extending the deadline and getting reimbursed for the costs/downtime were most important to members. RCPA will inform members if things are working as planned or not working. Please keep us posted on what is happening locally. Contact RCPA Drug & Alcohol Division Director Lynn Cooper with any questions.

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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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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.