Pennsylvania to adopt ASAM guidelines for addiction treatment

pennsylvania to adopt asam guidelines for addiction treatment

Pennsylvania is the newest state planning to adopt Criteria, a tool developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) that defines a single national guideline for addiction treatment.

The state will replace its current tool, the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria (PCPC) with ASAM’s Criteria. The PCPC, which guided professionals during interviews with drug users and helped determine the need for inpatient or outpatient drug rehabilitation or other treatments, will be replaced by July 2018 or sooner.

ASAM’s Criteria was created in the ‘80s and is now the most widely utilized set of guidelines for treatment placement, diagnosing co-occurring conditions, and managing transfer/discharge of addicted patients in the U.S. Its use is required in over 30 states.

“Only the ASAM Criteria offers an implementation based on published reliability and validity studies, and generates epidemiologic data, real-time needs assessment data, case-mix adjustment data, outcomes data, and can help reform managed care utilization review and drive value-based contracting,” said Dr. David Gastfriend, chief architect of ASAM’s Continuum — a web applications that heavily applies Criteria’s framework and provides a patient registry.

Through the foundation established by Criteria’s structure, Continuum was created to provide treatment teams with a structured, computer-guided assessment and care for individuals with addictive, dependence-related and co-occurring conditions.

The ASAM Criteria contributes guidance and background for the practical use of Continuum, which when in effect, allows for a standardized and comprehensive evaluation of patients.

Together, as a companion text and application, they form a comprehensive support tool that effectively organizes treatment priorities and refers patients to the least intensive, but safe, effective and efficient setting.

Although the PCPC and ASAM Criteria are similar, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described Criteria as “a nationally accepted set of treatment criteria” and endorsed the use of the tool nationwide.

“States have been moving to the ASAM Criteria because… (continue reading)