CHA News Article

DHCS to Host Substance Use Disorders Statewide Conference Oct. 27-28
Will provide updates on recently approved Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System Waiver

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will host a statewide substance use disorders (SUD) conference, Organizing the SUD Delivery System, in Orange County Oct. 27-28. The conference goal is to promote a universal understanding of the opportunities and challenges California faces in organizing its SUD delivery system. The conference is designed for individuals who work directly in the substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery fields (planners, direct services providers/implementers), those who work in related fields, those involved in policy and research, and other stakeholders. Conference registration, as well as an agenda and workshop descriptions, are available on the DHCS website.

According to DHCS, the conference will:

  • Highlight promising practices, technologies, proven approaches and successes for instituting systemic, programmatic, policy and individual change to improve services;
  • Discuss the current environment, including California’s diverse service and culturally competent needs, provide solutions to long-standing barriers, and focus solutions on person-centered care;
  • Offer current knowledge on the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System Waiver (DMC-ODS);
  • Provide resources for effective implementation of new and expanded services, and develop effective systems for coordination in the continuum; and
  • Share knowledge that allows the field to develop new skills around evidence-based practices, DHCS requirements and programmatic functions, and required training elements for providers.

On Aug. 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved the state’s DMC-ODS waiver amendment to California’s current section 1115 demonstration project, authorizing the state to implement a new SUD benefit and delivery system. According to DHCS, the waiver gives the state flexibility to establish a continuum of care to help ensure services and treatment are delivered in the right place at the right time and in the right setting for each Medi-Cal member’s needs. Delivering services through an integrated system of treatment also helps guide and track patients’ progress. California is the first state in the nation to receive federal approval of an ODS waiver.

Initially, counties will have the choice of opting into the waiver in a phased regional approach; 53 of California’s 58 counties have indicated an interest in participating. The counties that opt in will administer the DMC-ODS waiver program locally, providing and arranging for SUD treatment for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The DMC-ODS demonstration waiver is effective for five years. The waiver standard terms and conditions, state implementation plan, fact sheet and frequently asked questions are available on the DHCS website.