We are hoping to get your support for this bill. ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, please call the members of the Senate Finance Committee (below) and ask for a favorable vote on SB 922: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program Facilities - ASAM Criteria Assessments. Let's blow their phones up ON WEDNESDAY!! Then send them a note on why this bill will save lives. Then next week, call them back and ask them how they plan to vote. Let's keep this one on their radar. Thanks, Lisa
SB922 / HB1579: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program Facilities – ASAM Criteria Assessments
Many times, individuals who have been diagnosed with a chronic, potentially life-threatening, Substance-Use Disorder do not get the services they need in order to recover. Assessments for these patients often show that they need and qualify for long-term in-patient treatment, housing, on-going mental health or psychiatric services, Suboxone maintenance, family stabilization services and/or counseling, vocational training, educational services, legal services, and other wrap-around services –yet far too many are being discharged with no plan for how or where to access these services. Many patients are not even aware that this is exactly what their discharge plan from a regulated Maryland treatment provider is supposed to encompass. They often rely on a treatment provider to devise an appropriate discharge plan –only to discover they are being discharged to “nowhere” after it is too late for them to do anything about it. All too often they are simply left to figure out their “next level of care” plans on their own.
In 2017, the Recovery Residence Residential Rights Protection Act was passed, which mandated all regulated treatment providers operating in Maryland to match a patient’s discharge plan to their needs assessment, per nationally recognized criteria developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Unfortunately, unless the patient is knowledgeable that the assessment exists, that their discharge plan is based on it, that their assessed needs could be and should be matched to on-going services in Maryland’s ‘Continuum of Care’, and that their current treatment provider is responsible for ensuring this plan is in place prior to their discharge, than they are not likely to advocate for referrals to recovery services which meet all of their needs.
Inappropriate discharges jeopardize the lives of patients. Unless the patient receives the services that are necessary for their recovery –THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO RECOVER! Simply put, EFFECTIVE DISCHARGE PLANNING IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH!
Patients deserve to be empowered to advocate for what they need. It is not merely an OPTION to be referred to an appropriate and workable “next level of care”, it is a healthcare RIGHT! Maryland’s regulated treatment providers must be held accountable for assisting patients in accessing the services they need to get better once they are discharged from a higher level of care. This bill ensures that patients are provided an opportunity for that to happen.