Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed, and very ambitious, state budget plan for 2013-'14 on January 10. Buoyed by voter approval of Proposition 30 in November, years of slashing state programs seem to be behind us. K-12 education programs are by far the biggest winners in terms of funding increases. And the Governor again plans to use the budget bill to effect major policy changes, this year especially in areas related to education, the environment, and expanding MediCal in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
For the AOD treatment field, the budget includes a major shift from last year to dismantle the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. You may recall the objections that CAARR and many others raised about the proposal to separate ADP into 3 separate state departments, including the fact that it would have already occurred (last July). Fortunately a compromise was reached to give the Administration 6 months to meet with stakeholders and perhaps develop a new plan.
Well, ADP and other state agency representatives DID meet with stakeholders multiple times, they DID develop a new plan, and that new plan is part of the new budget proposal. In brief, the proposal is that ALL current ADP functions will shift to the CA Department of Health Care Services, or DHCS. Most importantly, the residential program licensing function will NOT go to the Department of Social Services but remain instead tied to the treatment program certification function at DHCS. NTPs, counselor certification, and everything else that ADP kept doing after the shift of Drug MediCal since July of 2011 will shift as an intact, single unit to DHCS. CAARR believes at this time that the official and effective date of the shift will be July 1 of this year.
Very important is that current ADP staff will transfer straight over to DHCS for employment purposes, but continue to work on the exact same programs they've been handling at ADP. In fact, ADP staff aren't even physically moving from their offices. They will remain for the foreseeable future right where they have been, at 1700 K St. in Sacramento. So regardless of what else you may have heard, don't throw away their phone numbers!
CAARR is extremely pleased that the Governor and his Administration responded to the major concerns raised by the field and chose to keep everything whole during the budget roll-out. While we argued that the Department of Public Health would be a better place to move ADP functions, the most important issue by far was to keep all the functions under a single roof. As CAARR Executive Director Susan Blacksher said, "Thank you Governor Brown for listening and acting on the advice of the entire treatment field."!http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Facilitating-Cross-System-Collaboration-A-Primer-on-Child-Welfare-Alcohol-and-Other-Drug-Services-and-Courts/SMA13-4735
Also new on the Healthcare Reform scene is the launch of the federal government's redesigned website at http://www.healthcare.gov/. The "re-launch" focuses specifically on the emerging health insurance markets especially as envisioned under state Exchanges. The latest on Medicaid expansion is available at http://cms.gov/affordable-care-act-in-action-at-cms.html.
CAARR ConferenceSAVE THE DATE
The Annual CAARR Conference will be March 25-27, 2013 at the Sacramento Hilton. Registration information will be available in February.
READY FOR THE CAS EXAM?
The new CAS Application and Study guide are available online:
At a time of rapid change for our evolving profession and the industries we serve, and the interest of transparency, both named organizations, CAARR and CAADAC are currently in exploratory meetings to discuss the possible benefits of our organizations continuing to collaborate on behalf of each organizations members for the continued benefit of those we serve. We will endeavor to keep you informed as these talks continue.