News from NASADAD
- NASADAD considering comments on SAPT Block Grant Application – Input accepted from membership through January 30
- NIDA requests public input on 2016-2020 strategic plan – NASADAD extends deadline to Jan 26
- NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on marijuana legalization
- NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on opioid use during pregnancy
- NASADAD attends health reform event sponsored by ONDCP and SAMHSA
- NASADAAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on criminal justice reform
Around the Agencies
- HHS releases new tool for determining healthcare tax liability
- NIH reveals statistics on Americans at risk for alcohol-medication interactions
- CMS releases brief highlighting key features of health-home treatment for individuals with opioid dependency
- DOJ releases Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit
- CDC releases findings on opioid prescription claims among women of reproductive age
- NIH panel finds evidence lacking for efficacy of opioid prescriptions treating chronic pain
In the News
- American Psychiatric Foundation updates employer guide for compliance with parity
- Alliance for Health Reform releases toolkit addressing American health insurance literacy
- Congressional Access to Recovery Caucus seeks input for 114th Congress
- NIDA-funded study finds that gender-sensitive treatment for women leads to better employment outcomes
News from NASADAD
NASADAD considering comments on SAPT Block Grant application – Input accepted from membership through January 30
On January 8, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a draft version of the FY 2016/2017 application for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant. NASADAD is considering drafting a letter to provide input. If States would like to submit comments for NASADAD to consider, please email Colleen Haller at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 30, COB. NASADAD will then work with leadership on recommendations. NASADAD facilitated a conference call on Friday, January 16 where SAMHSA reviewed the proposed draft with the membership and fielded questions. View the Federal Register Notice announcing the proposed changes here. View all relevant materials associated with the draft application here.
NIDA requests public input on 2016-2020 strategic plan – NASADAD extends deadline to Jan 26
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a request for information to seek public input for a revised strategic plan that to provide a research framework for the next 5 years. NIDA welcomes input from researchers, health care professionals, patient advocates, advocacy organizations, scientific or professional organizations, federal agencies, and any other interested members of the public. Responses are due by January 30, 2015 and should be emailed to NIDAOSPCPlanning@mail.nih.gov. States that would like to submit comments for NASADAD to consider as part of the Association’s response may submit comments to Colleen Haller at email@example.com by Monday, January 26th.
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on marijuana legalization
Rob Morrison, Executive Director and Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the briefing, “Insights about Marijuana Legalization in the United States,” on Wednesday, January 21st. The briefing reviewed a report commissioned by the State of Vermont and published by the Rand Corporation called “Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions.” Vermont commissioned the report to learn more about the policy and health implications for various marijuana policies. The presenters provided an overview of current marijuana policies in the U.S. and abroad; the various policy options available to jurisdictions considering alternatives to prohibition; the effect of one State’s policy change on surrounding States; and how differences at the federal and State levels can influence policy decisions.
- Beau Kilmer, RAND Senior Policy Researcher
- Jonathan Caulkins, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and RAND consultant
- Rosalie Pacula, RAND Senior Economist
NASADAD attends briefing on Capitol Hill on opioid use during pregnancy
Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate attended the event on Wednesday, January 21st, titled “Opioid Use: Protecting the Most Vulnerable, Addressing Drug Exposure in Mothers and Newborns.” The briefing was hosted by the March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The presenters provided background research on opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and offered options for federal action to better understand and treat NAS, as well as promote effective treatments for mothers such as medication-assisted treatment. The briefing was moderated by Cynthia Pellegrini, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Government Affairs, March of Dimes.
- Jonathan Davis, Chief, Division of Newborn Medicine; Neonatologist; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
- Nathaniel DeNicola, Clinical Instructor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
- Cecelia Spitznas, PhD, Senior Science Policy Analyst, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
NASADAD attends health reform event sponsored by ONDCP and SAMHSA
On Wednesday, January 21, NASADAD Executive Director Robert Morrison attended a White House event jointly sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to discuss issues related to health reform and addiction services. Dave Mineta, ONDCP’s Deputy Director for Demand Reduction shared the emcee duties with Tom Coderre, Senior Advisor to the SAMHSA Administrator, throughout the event. The meeting featured people in recovery talking about their experiences accessing services made available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, the meeting included a panel of experts discussing various aspects of health reform. The panel, moderated by Chris Carroll, SAMHSA, then answered written questions from the audience. Panelists included Becky Vaughn, National Council for Behavioral Health; Pam Rodriguez, Illinois TASC; Paolo del Vecchio, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS); and others.
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on criminal justice reform
Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, and Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, attended the briefing, “A Conversation about Federal Criminal Justice Reform,” hosted by the #cut50 initiative on Thursday, January 22nd. Presenters at the briefing discussed the growing fiscal and human cost of incarceration in the United States. The bipartisan #cut50 initiative, led by Van Jones and Newt Gingrich, aims to significantly reduce the number of incarcerated individuals in the United States over the next 10 years through smarter approaches to nonviolent offenders. #cut50 seeks common ground between the two parties that will hopefully lead to federal reform in the prison system. The presenters discussed ongoing State efforts to reduce the incarcerated population and ways the federal government can learn from them.
- Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
- Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
- Van Jones, CNN Contributor and Founder of #cut50
- Vikrant Reddy, Senior Policy Analyst at Texas Public Policy Foundation
NASADAD attends Capitol Hill briefing on HIT in 2015
Brian Denten, Public Policy Intern, attended the briefing, “2015 Outlook for Health Information Technology,” hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center on Friday, January 23rd. The briefing discussed the Congressional outlook for health information technology (HIT) legislation in 2015, especially regarding the interoperability and cybersecurity of patient records. Clarifying current regulations and advancing an oversight framework for HIT that promotes innovation was stressed as a key issue for the future. Removing barriers and providing incentive for health services to improve patient access were also mentioned as priorities. Topics pertaining specifically to substance abuse and 42 CFR Part 2 did not come up during discussion.
- Karen Fisher, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) staff
- Colin Goldfinch, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) staff
- Alicia Hennie, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) staff
- Robert Horne, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) staff
- Rohini Kosoglu, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) staff
- Jane Lucas, Senator John Thune (R-SD) staff
- Kristen O’Neill, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) staff
- Karen Summar, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) staff
- Kristin Welsh, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) staff
Around the Agencies
HHS releases new tools for determining healthcare tax liability
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new tools for helping consumers for the 2015 tax season. 2015 is the first year that individuals and families will be required to submit basic information about their health insurance for their tax returns. HHS has created tools for IRS Forms 8962 (2014 Premium Tax Credit) and 8965 (qualification for exemption for coverage being unaffordable). View more HHS information about health coverage & federal income taxes here.
NIH reveals statistics on Americans at risk for alcohol-medication interactions
The National Institute of Health revealed the new statistics on January 16th. The study shows that almost 42 percent of alcohol-consuming U.S. adults also take medications that interact with alcohol. 78% of people 65 years of age or older report using alcohol-interactive medication. Side effects of mixing prescription drugs with medication include nausea and headaches, or more severe effects of internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulty breathing. Older adults are particularly at risk due to slow metabolisms creating a larger window for interactions. The main medications reported in the survey were blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, pain medications, muscle relaxers, diabetes and cholesterol medications, and antidepressants. Learn more about alcohol-medication interactions here.
CMS releases brief highlighting key features of health-home treatment for individuals with opioid dependency
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an issue brief highlighting features of approved health home models designed for individuals with opioid dependency. The brief highlights home models in Rhode Island, Maryland, and Vermont. Key points in the brief include leveraging opioid treatment requirements, collaboration and information sharing across State agencies, and helping providers in the process of becoming health homes. Read more information about Medicaid Health Homes here.
DOJ releases Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit this week. The toolkit provides a “one-stop-shop” for all State, municipal, and tribal law enforcement agencies looking to begin naloxone programs. Naloxone reverses the effect of opioid overdoses by helping to restore breathing to victims. NASADAD collaborated with the BJA to construct the toolkit, including providing a membership list so that interested agencies can contact their State substance abuse agency.
CDC releases findings on opioid prescription claims for women of reproductive age
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the findings this week. Using Truven Health’s MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters and Medicaid data, the study found that from 2008-2012 an average of 27.7% of privately insured and 39.4% of Medicaid-enrolled reproductive age women (15-44 years) filed a prescription for an opioid. According to the study, the most commonly prescribed opioids were hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone. Opioid usage among reproductive age women presents a difficult issue for public health officials, as women can unknowingly use opioids while pregnant. Treatments other than opioid prescriptions among this population are preferred if safer options exist.
NIH panel finds evidence lacking for opioid prescriptions treating chronic pain
A National Institute of Health (NIH) panel found that not enough research exists to support the wide prescription of opioid treatments for chronic pain conditions. The panel also found that the health care system has not strongly pursued alternatives to opioid prescriptions that could improve outcomes for those suffering from chronic pain. The NIH recommends that agencies sponsor studies to help discover which conditions are most likely to benefit or be harmed by opioids. These studies should include cost-benefit analyses and review current opioid treatment risk prevention strategies such as drug screening and patient agreements. Until more is known, current guidelines about opioid treatment should be followed.
In the News
American Psychiatric Foundation updates the employer guide for compliance with parity
The American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) and its Partnership for Workplace Mental Health updated its Employer Guide for Compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act was passed in 2008 to expand coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders. Approximately 113 million people are affected by the law. The APF’s employer guide helps employers navigate the complex regulations that accompany the law. The updated version also includes new regulations put into place by the Affordable Care Act.
Alliance for Health Reform releases toolkit addressing American health insurance literacy
The Alliance for Health Reform released a toolkit addressing the ability of Americans to interpret their healthcare plan. The toolkit finds that nearly nine out of ten adults have difficulty making informed decisions about their health, and that almost half of Americans do not understand basic health insurance phrases such as “premium” and “deductible.” The toolkit includes an overview of this issue accompanied by articles supporting and analyzing the topic.
Congressional Access to Recovery Caucus seeks input for 114th Congress
The Congressional Addiction, Treatment, And Recovery (ATR) Caucus circulated a Dear Colleague letter to invite Members of Congress to participate and to seek new ideas and input for the upcoming Congressional session. The ATR Caucus seeks to educate lawmakers about addiction prevention, treatment, and substance abuse. The draft letter is attached to this email.
NIDA-funded study finds that gender-sensitive treatment for women leads to better employment outcomes
A study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that gender-sensitive substance abuse treatment services for women lead to better employment outcomes upon recovery. The study found this result even in programs where vocational training is not a defined component of the recovery plan. Researchers discovered that women receiving treatment in more gender-sensitive programs were more likely to be employed after 12 months. However, this effect disappeared during the second post-treatment year. Most women’s treatment services are currently mixed-gender rather than gender-specific.
Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, (202) 293-0090 or Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, at (202) 293-0090.