Volume 2, Issue 47 - November 25, 2022
Giving Thanks (Cont'd)
Moms and Mountains
We hope you all enjoyed yesterday, and that this long weekend can be whatever you want it to be. CSAP's lobbyists at SYASL spent yesterday spending invaluable time with loved ones and nature (Sorry if the pictures aren't cropped perfectly - staff had the day off!!!).
NPs Advertising as Doctors
District Attorney Dan Dow in San Luis Obispo County, California, recently reached a $20,000 settlement with a nurse practitioner for unlawfully advertising herself as a “doctor” in violation of California’s truth in advertising law. The press release mentions AMA’s Truth in Advertising survey, including the findings that 39% of respondents incorrectly identified a Doctor of Nursing Practice as a medical doctor and 19% incorrectly believed a Nurse Practitioner was a physician. District Attorney Dow used AMA’s survey to underscore patient confusion around who is providing their care and the importance of health care professionals clearly stating their level of education and training in their advertising, communications, and social media. “We want all health care professionals to clearly display their education and licensure so that patients know who is providing their care,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “All forms of professional medical services advertising, including websites and social media accounts, must be free of deceptive or misleading information and must clearly identify the professional license held by the advertiser. Providing patients upfront with the proper title of our health care professionals aids consumers in making a more informed decision about their health care.”
Thank you APA staff for making sure California members are aware of this development. CSAP members - if you become aware of such activity, your local District Attorney may be a recourse.
Meetings with staff from the Department of Managed Health Care are ongoing. SYASL arranged for another one this past Monday at the request of CSAP members. It is vital that aggrieved physicians and patients continue to make the DMHC aware of health plan malpractices.
Also, the State Health and Human Services Agency just released the Draft BHIN 22-XXX Parity Requirements for Drug Medi-Cal (DMC) State Plan Counties, which provides guidance to Drug Medi-Cal Counties on parity requirements for Discrimination, Grievances, Adverse Benefit Determinations, Appeals, State Hearings, Provider Directories, Time and Distance standards, and Provider Credentialing. Interested parties can provide feedback to email@example.com by December 5, 2022.
Governor Releases Funding for Homelessness
Governor Releases Paused Homelessness Funding
Governor Gavin Newsom has decided to restore funding allocations for cities, counties, and Continuums of Care that were slated to be released earlier this year. This change comes after a private meeting with local officials in Sacramento last week and only will be executed if local agencies set more ambitious goals to address the state’s homeless crisis. The funding provided as part of Round 3 of the Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) program will be forthcoming after local agencies commit to establish more ambitious outcomes and implement best practices for the Round 4 allocation of HHAP funding.
For those of you in private practice, please let us know what's on your mind as 2022 draws to a close. In addition to legislative suggestions, working on parity, the implications of "MICRA Reform," etc., what else would you like to have as an area of focus for the organization? More to come on this in early 2023, but if you have thoughts / suggestions in the meantime, email Paul Yoder.
More State Stuff
California Behavioral Health Community-Based Continuum Demonstration (CalBH-CBC). In 2023, the State Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will apply for a new Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstration to increase access to and improve mental health services for Medi-Cal Members statewide. This will take advantage of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) guidance and associated federal funding aimed at improving care for people living with serious mental illness (SMI) and serious emotional disturbance (SED). This demonstration opportunity is similar to California's historic commitment to creating a full continuum of care for substance use disorder treatment and recovery services; in 2015, California launched the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS), a first-in-the-nation model that has been emulated in many other states. Like DMC-ODS, this opportunity allows California to make historic investments in building out the full continuum of care for behavioral health, with a special focus on the populations most at risk. The goal of this is to leverage this opportunity to expand a robust continuum of community-based behavioral health care services for Medi-Cal members living with SMI or SED. It would also amplify California's ongoing behavioral health initiatives, and be informed by findings from DHCS' 2022 Assessing the Continuum of Care for Behavioral Health Services in California.
Community Assistance, Recovery, Empowerment (CARE) Act Request for Information (RFI). On November 10, DHCS released an RFI to provide information and solicit input from Interested Parties that may be able to support the training and technical assistance to county behavioral health agencies, supporters, and counsel; data collection; and annual reporting of the CARE Act. The CARE Act is a new court process to deliver community-based behavioral health services and supports to Californians living with untreated schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders. This RFI outlines the primary functions and capabilities DHCS is seeking to assist in the development of its approach to supporting the implementation of the CARE Act. The RFI is posted on the Cal eProcure webpage, and RFI responses are due December 1, 2022, at 5pm. For any questions regarding the CARE Act RFI, please contact DHCSCAREACT@dhcs.ca.gov.
California Hub and Spoke System (CA H&SS) Request for Application (RFA). DHCS released a RFA totaling $51.3 million for the CA H&SS for project activities from January 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. CA H&SS will improve access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for marginalized populations; improve MAT provider infrastructure and expand service hours and appropriate telehealth services; and broaden the concept of the patient population from an individual to include the family to maximize recovery capital, support family resiliency, and destigmatize treatment. Entities may apply to receive up to $1 million annually to fund prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of opioid and substance use disorders. Any Medi-Cal providers licensed to provide MAT services in California will be eligible to apply. This funding will be used to further the development and implementation of regional “Hubs” (Regional Centers of Excellence in MAT) and “Spokes” (any federally approved DATA-2000 waivered prescribers who prescribe or dispense buprenorphine) that collectively coordinate on outreach, patient services, and training and technical assistance to enhance the opioid and substance use continuum of care. The RFA is posted on the Advocates for Human Potential website.
Q & A
Q: is there any action taking place to assess and confront the stimulant and methamphetamine crisis, in California and nationally? This issue is one that sits at the nexus of mental health, emergency medicine, substance use, homelessness, and crime, and yet I have not heard much in the way of a governmental attempt to name it, much less tackle it.
A: Governor Newsom vetoed this bill last year on contingency management: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220SB110. His reason being that CalAIM would cover it, which is in fact the plan: https://www.chcf.org/blog/finally-effective-treatment-methamphetamine-addiction/. Ultimately, maybe an equal or even better result; however, time has been lost waiting for this rollout. Lastly, fentanyl has taken over as many legislators’ focus.
Worth a Read