August 8, 2014
News from NASADAD
- Hilary Jacobs named Interim Senior Policy Advisor to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Health – Lydie Ultimo named Interim State Director
- NASADAD welcomes a new Research Associate, Elizabeth Selmi
- NASADAD attends briefing on health care provided in prisons and jails
- NASADAD attends briefing on the experience of navigators and insurance brokers during the first open enrollment period of the exchanges
Around the Agencies
- NASADAD attends DOJ meeting on naloxone and law enforcement – Attorney General Holder provides opening remarks – NASADAD sends follow-up letter
- CMS officially sets Oct. 1, 2015 as ICD-10 transition date
- NIH developing system to track emerging drug trends
In the News
- Study finds that college students receive light penalties for alcohol-related infractions
News from NASADAD
Hilary Jacobs named Interim Senior Policy Advisor to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Health – Lydie Ultimo named Interim State Director
Hilary Jacobs was serving as the Director of the MA Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) and NASADAD member. Ms. Jacobs will now be a Senior Policy Advisor to the MA Department of Public Health’s Commissioner, specializing in opioid policy. Ms. Jacobs will be coordinating in-State and interagency work, as well as inter-State deliverables based on those agreed to by a June meeting of New England Governors to address opiate use. Ms. Jacobs will also serve as the State Opioid Treatment Authority (SOTA) and will remain an important part of NASADAD’s Opioid Treatment Network (OTN). While we will miss Ms. Jacobs and her terrific work as a State Director, we congratulate her on her new position and look forward to her continued work to reduce opiate abuse in Massachusetts and beyond. Lydie Ultimo, currently a member of the National Treatment Network (NTN), will be serving as the interim SSA for Massachusetts, as well as continuing her work as an NTN. Ms. Ultimo has been with BSAS since 2008 and served as the Deputy Director since 2012.
NASADAD welcomes new Research Associate, Elizabeth Selmi
Elizabeth (Liz) graduated in May 2014 from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to working at NASADAD, she interned at Standing Together Against Domestic Violence in London, which works to promote a coordinated, multi-agency community response to domestic violence. She also has clinical experience working as a research assistant at a psychiatry lab in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY. The research focused on comparing cognition in bipolar individuals with their siblings unaffected by the disorder. Liz hopes to pursue her Master’s in Public Health in the future. We are thrilled to welcome Liz to the team! Liz will be working as a Research Associate, primarily supporting the National Treatment Network (NTN), Opioid Treatment Network (OTN), and HIV Coordinators.
NASADAD attends briefing on health care provided in prisons and jails
Rob Morrison, Executive Director and Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the briefing, Health Care Behind Bars: A Key to Population Health?, hosted by the Alliance for Health Reform on August 1st. The panelists ranged from inmate activists with personal experiences with receiving health care while incarcerated to State officials responsible for managing health care programs for inmates (complete list below). Presenters from Georgia and Tennessee provided information on the innovative approaches those States have taken to improve health outcomes, while also operating on a limited budget.
Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform
Steve Rosenberg, Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS)
Debra Rowe, Returning Citizens United
Jacqueline Craig-Bey, Patient Advocate, former inmate
Sharon Lewis, Georgia Department of Corrections
Dr. Asher Turney, Centurion
NASADAD attends briefing on the experience of navigators and insurance brokers during the first open enrollment period of the exchanges
Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the briefing hosted by the Alliance for Health Reform. The briefing, Navigating the Health Insurance Landscape: What’s Next for Navigators, In-Person Assisters, and Brokers?, was held on August 5th and featured presentations by two State-based Assister groups, the insurance brokers’ association, and the Kaiser Family Foundation (complete list below). The panelists discussed the experiences of those helping consumers enroll in health insurance, including reviewing the results of a survey of Assister programs, as well as discussing the challenges that lay ahead for the next open enrollment period.
Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform
Jennifer Tolbert, Kaiser Family Foundation
Karen Pollitz, Kaiser Family Foundation
Jodi Ray, Florida Covering Kids and Families, University of South Florida
Lisa Stein, Seedco
Jessica Waltman, National Association of Health Underwriters
Around the Agencies
NASADAD attends DOJ meeting on naloxone and law enforcement – Attorney General Holder provides opening remarks – NASADAD sends follow-up letter
On July 31st, Robert Morrison, Executive Director attended a meeting on law enforcement and naloxone sponsored by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Attorney General Eric Holder provided remarks at the beginning of the meeting. Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) also spoke. The meeting was convened by DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) which houses a number of NASADAD priority programs and is led by Denise O’Donnell. Mary Lou Leary, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, also led the meeting. The meeting included a round-table of experts in law enforcement and addiction that have already taken a leadership role in the use of naloxone. National organizations (Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Sherriff’s Association, National Criminal Justice Association, National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws) including NASADAD, were invited to attend as well as other federal agencies (such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and others). Tara Kunkel, Visiting Fellow, DOJ/BJA and Chris Traver, DOJ/BJA served as facilitators and guided participants in discussing some of the following areas: (1) championing the implementation of a law enforcement naloxone program, (2) acquisition and replenishment of naloxone, (3) law enforcement training issues, (4) medical oversight and models, (5) legal and liability issues, and (5) distribution of toolkit materials that DOJ is putting together that would serve as a resource for the law enforcement community to consider as a resource. Throughout the day-long meeting, the conversation recognized the need for and benefits of addiction treatment, prevention, and recovery resources. NASADAD sent a follow-up letter to Attorney General Holder, thanking DOJ for convening this meeting and offering recommendations as DOJ develops its toolkit.
Also check out NASADAD’s recently released Fact Sheet on DOJ priority programs.
CMS officially sets Oct. 1, 2015 as ICD-10 transition date
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule establishing Oct. 1, 2015 as the date that health care providers must include ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes on Medicare and other health care claims. The new date complies with a provision in the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 delaying the transition for at least one year. The final rule also requires the continued use of ICD-9 through Sept. 30, 2015. “While many providers, including physicians, hospitals and health plans, have completed the necessary system changes to transition to ICD-10, the time offered by Congress and this rule ensure all providers are ready,” CMS said (American Hospital Association Newsletter).
NIH developing system to track emerging drug trends
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) to track emerging drug use trends and assist health officials respond quickly to potential outbreaks of illicit drug use. The system will scan social media and other websites to identify new trends as well as conventional national and local data collected. Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that “by monitoring trends at the local level, we hope to prevent emerging drug problems from escalating or spreading to surrounding regions” (press release). The University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) will receive a five-year grant from NIDA to develop the system.
In the News
Study finds that college students receive light penalties for alcohol-related infractions
The study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, was conducted at 343 colleges and found that law enforcement was not likely to issue citations to students for violating alcohol laws (press release). Students were often referred to the school for discipline rather than the criminal justice system. Students were also not generally sent to a campus health center for alcohol abuse screening, intervention, or treatment. The authors of the study suggest that reduced penalties for alcohol-related offenses may contribute to binge drinking along with the easy availability of alcohol at parties and other events and a “social life that emphasizes drinking create an environment where binge drinking is a normative and expected part of college life” (Toben Nelson, Lead Researcher).