Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Coalition Recommends That States Be Allowed to Negotiate with Private Providers under ADMS Block

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Coalition Recommends That States Be Allowed to Negotiate with Private Providers under ADMS Block

Article excerpt

The Ad Hoc Coalition on National Alcohol and Drug Issues, in issuing its recommendations for reauthorization of programs at the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA), said flexibility should be accorded under the alcohol, drug abuse and mental health services (ADMS) block grant to enable exploration of "public-private treatment partnerships."

The coalition, whose membership includes about 30 national organizations, noted that many private for-profit and not-for-profit treatment programs "are not operating at full capacity and could potentially meet some of the demand for treatment if those services are culturally and geographically appropriate and cost-effective."

"Since the ADMS block grant provides the most viable mechanism to assist states and local communities in the delivery of treatment and prevention services, it is important to make the block grant funding as flexible as possible to encourage maximum use of limited resources," the coalition said. "State authorities should have the ability to negotiate fee structure and admission criteria with public and private treatment providers."

The coalition said the recently issued patient placement criteria of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers "could open the door to cooperative efforts to ensure that those in need of care receive the most appropriate, effective and efficient treatment, so that scarce resources are efficiently utilized."

"States and local communities should have the ability to explore public-private treatment partnerships to identify ways in which both the public and private proprietary sectors can join together to provide needed treatment expansion in cost-effective ways," according to the coalition recommendation.

At the same time, the coalition said the current ADMS block grant structure should be maintained "unless an equitable split could be developed that retains the proportionate amount that is allotted to substance abuse services and mental health services in each state."

Creation of two separate blocks, as proposed by House Health Subcommittee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), would reflect the current separation in the delivery of these services, the coalition said. But splitting the block could "impact on the current funding distribution between substance abuse and mental health services and could change the respective funding shares in some states," having a potential for disrupting service delivery. …

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