August 14, 2014
News from the States
- Pennsylvania SSA Gary Tennis unveils Building Bridges to Recovery project
- Ohio offers funding opportunity for recovery housing support
Capitol Hill News
- House September legislative agenda does not mention appropriations work
- Hospitals urge Congress to expand, protect access to health care-related data
Around the Agencies
- CMCS releases resources on renewal process for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries and June enrollment report
- SAMHSA creating Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy
- SAMHSA releases quick guides for clinicians and administrators to meet the needs of women with substance use disorders
- HHS sends notices to federal insurance marketplace consumers with immigration status inconsistencies
- HHS awards more than $106 million for State home visiting programs
- GAO releases report on cost-effective preventive services in peer-reviewed literature
News from NASADAD
- NASADAD meets with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- NASADAD presents at SAMHSA Policy Academy on prescription drug abuse
- Report released on the impact of legalization of marijuana in Colorado
News from the States
Pennsylvania SSA Gary Tennis unveils Building Bridges to Recovery project
The project, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) in partnership with the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Advisory Council and the Pennsylvania Parent Panel Advisory Council, aims to build informational and resource bridges between the medical, treatment, and recovery communities and the person in need of treatment. Secretary Tennis sent a letter to stakeholders on August 7th to inform them about the initiative and to invite them to participate in advance of Recovery Month in September. Secretary Tennis writes “I am asking you to identify how you might, as an individual or an organization, initiate dialogue with health care professionals to provide information about substance use disorders and recovery.” The letter offers recommendations for individuals, providers, and organizations on how they can get involved. DDAP will be posting resources on their website to assist participants, and ultimately build momentum for Recovery Month.
Ohio offers funding opportunity for recovery housing support
The Ohio legislature made an investment of $5 million into recovery housing under House Bill 483. The purpose of the initiative is to increase community capacity to provide recovery housing to individuals recovering from substance use disorders. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) released a request for proposal (RFP) to identify an organization to form an Ohio affiliate of the National Alliance of Recovery Residences (NARR). The affiliate will develop quality standards for recovery houses that comply with national quality standards, as well as State and local requirements. The affiliate will also develop and implement a plan for outreach and implementation support for the operators of recovery houses. Finally, the organization will collaborate with a range of stakeholders and provide education about recovery housing in Ohio communities. Questions related to the RFP can be submitted online by August 22. The due date for proposals is August 29 (OhioMHAS News).
Capitol Hill News
House September legislative agenda does not mention appropriations work
House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sent a memo to the Republican caucus outlining the September legislative agenda. The memo cites “jobs and economic growth,” “lowering costs on gas and groceries,” and “health care” as the major efforts that the House will consider after the August recess. The memo does not mention any work related to appropriations. If Congress fails to pass their appropriations bills, it is likely that they will vote on a continuing resolution to provide short-term funding until appropriations work resumes.
Hospitals urge Congress to expand, protect access to health care-related data
The American Hospital Association (AHA) received a request from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) to weigh in on health care data discussions, AHA urged Congress to increase access to meaningful and useful data across the care continuum while protecting the privacy and security of individual patient data as they consider ways to accelerate improvement in health care quality and value. Among other actions, AHA recommends that Congress direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to release certain Medicare data on Part B carriers, Part D prescription drugs, Medicare Advantage enrollees, and inpatient hospital discharges. As data resources are expanded, AHA urged Congress to ensure that the privacy and security of individual patient information is maintained. As covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), health care providers, payers, and clearinghouses bear special responsibilities to keep individual patient information private and secure, and face significant financial and criminal penalties in the event of unauthorized use or disclosures, protections that do not extend to entities that have not signed a specific agreement with a HIPAA-covered entity (AHA News Now).
Around the Agencies
CMCS releases resources on renewal process for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries and June enrollment report
The resources, released by the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS), provide information on new enrollees in both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and information about the beneficiary renewal process. The first resource is a PowerPoint presentation from a webinar with ideas and strategies for a streamlined renewal process, which has been posted in Medicaid.gov’s State toolbox for expanding coverage. CMCS also released the June 2014 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Report which reports on State Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment. Since the new insurance marketplaces opened, more than 7.2 million additional people have enrolled in health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP.
SAMHSA creating Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy
The new office will be the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) primary point of contact for tribal governments, tribal organizations, federal departments and agencies, and other governments and agencies on mental health and substance use disorder issues facing American Indians and Alaska Natives in the U.S. (SAMHSA press release). Mirtha Beadle, MPA will lead the new office. Ms. Beadle is currently the Deputy Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. The Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs, Sheila Cooper, as well as the staff from the Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse (OIASA) will also join the new office.
SAMHSA releases quick guides for clinicians and administrators to meet the needs of women with substance use disorders
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the guides on August 12th. Both guides are based on SAMHSA’s TIP 51, Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women. The first guide will help clinicians and counselors serve women with substance use disorders using the most up-to-date, gender-specific best practices and approaches. The second guide is designed for administrators and focuses on program development, procedures, and policies that help women with substance use disorders. Both guides seek to help professionals take note of and effectively address the unique needs of women in treatment.
HHS sends notices to federal insurance marketplace consumers with immigration status inconsistencies
Consumers with coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace with inconsistencies in their citizenship or immigration data have been sent notices to submit additional supporting documents by September 5th. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also sent additional notices via mail, email, and phone. Consumers who do not respond by the deadline will lose their marketplace coverage at the end of September. Inconsistencies do not necessarily mean that someone is not eligible for coverage, but may instead arise when the application is incomplete or different from the information that the government has on file. State-run marketplaces are also in the process of verifying citizenship and immigration information and will resolve those issues independently of HHS. Many consumers’ application inconsistencies have been resolved – the number of outstanding cases has fallen from 970,000 in May to 310,000 today. Consumers are encouraged to respond as quickly as possible so that they do not experience an interruption of health insurance coverage.
Also check out a visual breakdown of the notices and blog from HHS with tips or consumers with inconsistencies.
HHS awards more than $106 million for State home visiting programs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced the grants for 46 States, the District of Columbia, and five jurisdictions as part of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Home Visiting Program). The Home Visiting Program was established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The funds can be used to expand evidence-based home visiting services for women during pregnancy and for parents with young children (ages 0-5). Home visits are conducted by nurses, social workers, or educators and have been shown to prevent child abuse and neglect and promote the child’s health and development (HHS press release). The program also specifies that women with substance use disorders receive treatment.
GAO releases report on cost-effective preventive services in peer-reviewed literature
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the peer-reviewed literature on preventive services that were deemed to be cost-effective. GAO reviewed studies from January 2007 to April 2014. The services were categorized into a type such as clinical intervention or screening. GAO also recorded the target population, whether the service was cost-saving, and whether it has been recommended by the Preventive Services Task Force or the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. GAO looked at a range of services including tobacco prevention and treatment and substance use disorder treatment for high-risk populations to prevent HIV infection.
News from NASADAD
NASADAD meets with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Rob Morrison, Executive Director; Rick Harwood, Director of Research and Program Applications; Shalini Wickramatilake, Research Analyst; and Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate met with Kate Vlach and Betsy Wieand of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to discuss areas of potential collaboration between NASADAD and ACOG on women’s health issues. Ms. Vlach and Ms. Wieand were also interested in learning more about the work of State substance abuse agencies, particularly in regards to the management and financing of treatment for women with substance use disorders. ACOG has developed a number of “Committee Opinions” related to substance abuse that may be of interest to NASADAD members (listed below).
ACOG Committee Opinions can be found on:
- Treating opioid dependence during pregnancy,
- Nonmedical use of prescription drugs,
- Reporting on substance abuse during pregnancy, and
- Methamphetamine use in women of child-bearing age.
NASADAD presents at SAMHSA Policy Academy on prescription drug abuse
Rob Morrison, Executive Director; Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate; Nima Shahidinia, Research Analyst; and Candice Russell, Research Associate attended the Policy Academy hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) from August 11th-13th. The Prescription Drug Abuse Policy Academy featured teams from ten States: CT, KS, KY, MN, NJ, NM, NC, OH, RI, and WI. The prevention-focused Academy featured presentations from several distinguished speakers including Frances Harding (Director, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention), Dr. H. Westley Clark (Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment), Michael Botticelli (Acting Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy), Dr. Wilson Compton (Deputy Director, National Institutes on Drug Abuse), and Dr. Paul Jarris (Executive Director, ASTHO) and offered ample time for State teams to work on their own prescription drug abuse plans. On Tuesday morning, Rob Morrison presented findings from NASADAD’s membership inquiry on prescription drugs and heroin on a panel with General Arthur Dean (Chairman and CEO, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) and Nancy Young, PhD (Project Director, National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare). Other presentations included information on prescription drug overdose, opioid use in pregnancy and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), federal initiatives on prescription drug abuse, monitoring and surveillance, improving access to treatment and recovery supports, and much more.
Report released on the impact of legalization of marijuana in Colorado
The report, The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 3, was released on August 12th by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The report includes information on impaired driving, youth use, adult use, emergency room admissions, marijuana-related exposure, treatment, diversion, THC extraction labs, and related data. Data show that the majority of arrests for driving under the influence involve marijuana and 25-40% of arrests involve marijuana alone. From 2011-2013, marijuana-related emergency room visits increased by 57%, and hospitalizations for marijuana increased by 82% from 2008-2013. With legalization still in the early stages, this report offers preliminary data on the impact on the State and individual Coloradans. Rocky Mountain HIDTA will continue to track this information and release the latest data so that other States and localities that may be considering legalization have a better understanding of the potential short- and long-term impacts.