Letter from President

November 20, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As is our tradition at this time of year, the AATOD Board of Directors wishes all of our planning partners and friends throughout the United States and other nations a joyous holiday season. While there are always challenges to our system of patient care, we always have a great deal to be grateful for.

I am forwarding a donation request for 2014 to support our continued work in the New Year. Many people from our field have been extremely generous and supportive in the past and we are hoping that you will continue to provide support for our activities.

We are actively working with all of our conference committee planning members to produce an extremely content rich conference for Atlanta, which will convene at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Hotel between March 28 – April 1, 2015. You have been receiving a number of communications from the committee chairs and conference leadership and it is my hope that you will be able to join us for this important event. The conference provides meaningful information about where our field is moving in the current era of increased heroin and prescription opioid addiction.

  • We have been working with a number of federal and state agency partners, including SAMHSA, The Department of Health and Human Services and ONDCP with regard to our recommendations, increasing access to care through Opioid Treatment Programs and DATA 2000 practices. We recognize that some of the strategic discussions are controversial and we believe that the best way to increase access to care is to use evidence based practices.
  • We are also working with our colleagues at the Legal Action Center and the Coalition for Whole Health with regard to changing health reimbursement policy under the Affordable Care Act and through Parity. As anticipated in our original planning, we recognize that there are significant challenges in the states with regard to getting reimbursement for patient care through OTPs. This will be a major initiative in 2015 as we work with states to increase Medicaid reimbursement for the use of all three federally approved medications (methadone, buprenorphine, and Naltrexone/Vivitrol) within the OTP setting.
  • We are also recruiting OTPs to participate in an important study in evaluating the efficacy of having OTPs routinely check PDMP websites concerning the use of medications as patients enter and remain in treatment in OTPs. 20 programs will participate in this study, which is being funded by Reckitt Benckiser.
  • We are also working with our partner, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, under the SAMHSA grant of the PCSS Mentoring Program. We are creating a model of Hub and Spoke service delivery cooperation between OTPs and DATA 2000 practices. This will allow for participation of 20 OTPs which will be reported out over the course of the next year. It is our attempt to strengthen lines of communication and referral services between OTPs and DATA 2000 practices, borrowing on the Hub and Spoke model that is being utilized in Vermont.
  • We are also working with our associates at the Legal Action Center and the criminal justice system to increase access to Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction. At the present time, we are completing our work on a special fact sheet for a federal agency, which will be used to educate a number of parties in the criminal justice system. The interest here is to continue our long standing work to provide access to treatment for those opioid addicted individuals who are in different parts of the nation’s criminal justice system.
  • Finally, we will continue our work with our partners in the World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence under the Special Consultative Status as an NGO through the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. We recently participated in the EUROPAD conference in Glasgow, Scotland and there will be a World Federation session at our conference in Atlanta on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

These are a few highlights of our work in moving the needs of patients and treatment programs forward in 2015. I am asking you to make a contribution to AATOD as a way to continue this critical work in organizing treatment providers, advocates, and all interested stakeholders. Your contribution will allow us to expand access to treatment in a responsible way, which has been our hallmark for the past 30 years.  Your donation may be fully tax deductible since AATOD is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.

Please be as generous as you can in making a donation to AATOD. There are different funding levels outlined in the donation information link, and we are grateful for whatever you can afford to give. We hope that you will consider joining AATOD’s President’s Club, which has been an opportunity for the past several years, by providing a donation of $1,000.00 or more. The President’s Club provides access to invitation only conference events and direct access to me when administrators/OTP sponsors have specific policy related questions.

As indicated on our website, you can also elect to be listed as a donor to AATOD in a special section. Please give this request every consideration so that AATOD may continue its work to preserve the future for our patients and our system of care.

Sincerely yours,

Mark W. Parrino, MPA

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