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On September 16th DHCS formally submitted a request to CMS to extend the Medi-Cal 1115 Waiver for 12 months, from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2021. This would include an extension of the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System pilot program which was set to expire at the end of this year. The Department thanks all stakeholders who submitted comments on the extension request.
- See a summary of those comments on the DHCS website: www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgovpart/Pages/Medi-Cal-2020-Extension.aspx.
- See the Pending Application.
- CMS Bulletin
Included in the above summary are comments that CAADPE submitted to the Department on behalf of the association. Now CAADPE is requesting that members submit comments directly to CMS in support of the Department’s request to approve an extension of the DMC-ODS 1115 Waiver. The federal comment period is open from October 2 through November 1, 2020.
Grassroots Advocacy: Know Where your Candidates Stand on SUD Issues
The Presidential election is not the only race on the November 3rd ballot. Also on the ballot are candidates for Congress, California’s Assembly and Senate representatives, county boards of supervisors, city councils, and other local offices. All of these elected officials are policymakers whose decisions will impact SUD funding and policies as well as many health and human service programs that are essential for individuals who are seeking help with their addiction.
The addiction and mental health crisis that is claiming more than 150,000 lives a year through suicides and overdoses deserves the attention of all candidates seeking public office. Rates of depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug use disorders are higher than at any point in history. This crisis is fueled by a health care system that is underfunded, and magnified by policymakers who often lack the political will to turn words into action. For substance use disorders, only 1 in 10 individuals who meet medical necessity for treatment are able to access the care they need. Stigma certainly plays a role in people not getting the help they need, but access to care and inadequate insurance coverage are also deciding factors in whether someone has access to the treatment they need when they need it.
Candidates for public office should be asked about their plans for prioritizing prevention and treatment for people with an addiction and/or mental health diagnosis.
As candidates convene town hall meetings and other forums to discuss plans post-election, here are some sample questions that would solicit a candidates positions on critical topics relating to substance use disorder and addiction.
Sample Questions for Candidates
- How would you invest resources to strengthen and grow the behavioral health workforce to ensure that there are enough programs and qualified staff to provide needed care for those suffering from mental health and/or substance use disorders?
- How will you ensure that substance use disorder prevention and treatment is integrated into our health system as an essential component of overall health?
- How would you improve access and early intervention for substance use disorders so that all people needing care are able to have timely access to quality, affordable treatment?
- What investments would you be willing to make in recovery services to ensure that everyone who needs ongoing recovery support (including supportive housing, counseling, peer supports, job training, education) would have access to these services?
- How would you ensure that individuals with substance use disorders and/or mental health diagnosis receive the treatment they need rather than being warehoused in jails and prisons?
- What steps do you think should be taken to reduce the stigma associated with addiction?