CHA News Article

DHCS to Host Substance Use Disorder Waiver Advisory Group Meeting
Will provide update of its waiver amendment

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will host a Substance Use Disorder Waiver Advisory Group meeting March 23 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (PT).  DHCS submitted its Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) waiver amendment request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Nov. 24, 2014. At the upcoming meeting, DHCS staff will provide an update on the DMC-ODS waiver amendment, its draft state-county contract and next steps. Time will be allotted for public comment, and email comments may also be submitted directly to DHCS at

The meeting call-in number is (888) 769-9728; passcode 7755754. A meeting agenda is attached.

Under its DMC-ODS waiver amendment request, DHCS proposes to provide a continuum of care modeled after the American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria for substance use disorder treatment services. The amendment seeks to make improvements to the DMC service delivery system, provide more local control and accountability in selection of high-quality providers, improve local coordination of case management services, implement evidence-based practices in substance abuse treatment and coordinate with other systems of care, including physical health. The DMC-ODS waiver also seeks to demonstrate how organized substance use disorder care increases the success of DMC beneficiaries while decreasing other system health care costs. Participation for providing services under the waiver is voluntary; counties may opt-in to participate.

The waiver amendment would also allow DHCS to extend the DMC residential treatment services to additional beneficiaries as an integral aspect of the continuum of care. Historically, the residential treatment service was available only to pregnant/postpartum beneficiaries in facilities with a capacity of 16 or fewer beds. This waiver will permit residential treatment services with no bed capacity limit.

DHCS has requested that the demonstration waiver amendment request be approved as soon as possible and no later than April 1. More information can be found on the DHCS website.