Legislative Hearing Scheduled to Consider ADP Elimination Proposal
A Joint Hearing of the Assembly and Senate Health Committees, along with Budget Subcommittees from each House, has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 21 at 1:3 p.m. at the Capitol Building in Sacramento. Health Committee Chairs Senator Ed Hernandez and Assembly Member Bill Monning, and Budget Subcommittee Chairs Senator Mark DeSaulnier and Assembly Member Holly Mitchell will lead the Hearing, officially titled "Restructuring the Behavioral Health System in California".
CAARR has numerous concerns with the current proposal, which would split all remaining (non-Drug MediCal) ADP functions between 3 different Departments. We have already set several meetings with key Legislators and staff to advise them of CAARR's issues while they establish the agenda for the Hearing. Certainly the Department would be asked to testify, along with the Office of the Legislative Analyst (the Legislature's budget advisors).
Our strategy is evolving on this, but CAARR will consider asking the Committees to invite officials from the Health and Human Services Agency to testify as well. Other likely participants could include CADPAAC and UCLA's office of Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.
Of interest: ADP contracted with UCLA to study and report on reorganizing 'behavioral health', i.e. ADP and DMH, last year. UCLA's recommendations (beginning at page 85 of their report) include the following:
- Abolish ADP and DMH, and move all their programs into a new division of MH and SUD services within the Department of Health Care Services.
- "Harmonize" facility licensing for MH and SUD program sites.
- Create a single counselor certification / licensing infrastructure at DHCS.
- Bring consultants from states that have consolidated MH and SUD to California to help integrate these services into the Primary Care system.
CAARR has various reservations about these conclusions as well as others not summarized here. For example, what exactly is meant by "harmonizing" licensing? If UCLA is suggesting that AOD treatment facilities meet exactly the same standards as "inpatient" MH facilities, big problems could lie ahead. As for a single counselor licensing and certification entity, CAARR and our partners in the CBC group tried mightily to accomplish exactly that same task in response to ADP's bill a couple years ago. But our proposal left a clearly defined role for Certifying Organizations, and we do not believe the government could perform most CO functions adequately, or economically, if at all. Finally, we are concerned about the suggestion to hire consultants from other states. The UCLA report delineates problems (and reputed benefits) in consolidating MH and SUD programs in 7 other states. Yet these same people who were instrumental in those mergers and re-orgs are recommended as "consultants" for California. UCLA never seems to have studied the question, "Should this re-org occur?", or really addressed WHY it should or should not occur.