Dear Friend and Colleagues,
Welcome to our updated website, which provides smoother navigation in a more simplified and easy to use format. The following lists a number of our accomplishments in 2019 and where we are putting our resources and focus during 2020. I hope that you find this to be a content rich website and let us know if you have any questions.
We just convened another successful AATOD Conference in Walt Disney World, with just under 1,800 participants over the course of five days. The content was rich and gave direction to our associates throughout the United States and abroad. I am grateful to Dave Kneessy, our Conference Chair, and all of the Committee Chairs and their members for organizing a great Conference on behalf of our Association.
Implementation of OTP Medicare Rate
CMS Medicare issued a public notice on November 1, 2019, finalizing the Medicare rate for Medicare eligible patients to participate in OTPs. CMS Medicare clearly listened to our concerns, which were submitted on September 27, 2019 along with 11 comprehensive reports from state member chapters.
Subsequently, the basic rate was increased significantly to $207.00 per patient per week, which will cover all of the federally approved medications in addition to the clinical support services.
Medicaid Rate Implementation
As I mentioned in my opening speech at the Walt Disney World Conference on October 21, 2019, five states implemented new Medicaid rates for OTPs since we last convened in New York during March 2018. The states include Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky and South Carolina.
We will continue to work with CMS Medicaid to encourage the remaining states to implement Medicaid coverage.
We have worked with our partners in the criminal justice system over the course of the last several years. This was evident during our Conference in Walt Disney World since the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and the Florida Drug Court Association chose to convene special preconference sessions during the five day event.
This work will fulfill our vision of initiating the transition of inmates with opioid use disorder into a regimen of treatment with medication and clinical services and the transition through a “warm hand off” to an OTP/DATA 2000 practice. Once again, as this work expands, thousands of inmates with opioid use disorder will be treated and will continue their care in outpatient settings upon release.
Our Association has joined with the Legal Action Center, Faces and Voices of Recovery, NAMA Recovery, Treatment Communities of America and other entities in supporting the core confidentiality protections, which patients have enjoyed for 40 years.
AATOD has issued a number of policy statements and articles during 2019 in support of providing access to comprehensive treatment for opioid use disorder. We will continue to advocate for holistic care so that patients will get the treatment that they need once they are admitted to an OTP. We are also working with our international partners in the World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence to develop standardized quality assurance measures. We are doing this under the aegis of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization.
Maintaining Current Licensure Standards
Additionally, we are working with a number of our policy partners to continue offering quality care within the OTP setting and DATA 2000 practices. We oppose the deregulation of OTPs or DATA 2000 practices, although the requirements of operating an OTP are far more stringent and enforced when compared to DATA 2000 practices.
Thank you again for your interest in our work and please feel to communicate any ideas to improve the future of our field.
Mark W. Parrino, M.P.A.