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You Still Have Time To Register for The Ohio Council - Behavioral Health Coding 101 & 2023 E/M Coding Changes Webinar

The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers is hosting a virtual training session conducted by Sonda Kunzi, CPC CRC CPB COC CPCO CPMA CPPM CPC-I.

Wednesday December 7, 2022
1.5 CEUs
$25 (Members) | $50 (Non-Members)

MEMBER DISCOUNT CODE:  Please contact Brenna Whiteside

This session is designed for clinical, administrative, and billing staff seeking information on compliant coding for behavioral health services and upcoming changes to evaluation and management codes effective 1/1/2023. This training will discuss best practices for compliant behavioral health CPT coding and will provide participants with an understanding of same day service limitations and NCCI edits, incident to provisions for billing under supervision, and billing for interactive complexity. Additionally, participants will be provided with an overview of CPT coding changes for evaluation and management services and prolonged services.

Attendance and Pricing Policy

This training session will take place virtually via GoToWebinar. There is no in-person attendance option. Attendees may not share webinar login credentials. Using another attendee's login link and credentials will disqualify one from receiving CEUs. 

After registering via GoToWebinar, participants will receive a link for the individual session at the email address they used to sign up. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam/junk folder and contact Brenna Whiteside as necessary. Attendees must attend the webinar using the unique link generated for them by the GoToWebinar service to qualify for CEUs. 

Attendance for each session will be taken electronically using reports from GoToWebinar. To qualify for CEUs, attendees must attend through the GoToWebinar web service or app. Taking part by telephone only will not qualify one for CEUs. Guests who arrive late or leave early may only be eligible for partial credit. The Ohio Council's attendance requirements are determined by relevant state licensing agencies. 

Gov. Mike DeWine to Prioritize Expanded Mental-Health Services, Research in his Next Budget Proposal

Gov. Mike DeWine laid out a sweeping plan Wednesday that would ramp up Ohio’s mental-health services by putting millions toward expanded services, research, and job development.

The proposal, which DeWine said would be presented to lawmakers next year as part of his state budget plan, will include building a new behavioral-health research hub in the state, conducting a “landmark study” of the root causes of mental illness and addiction, and ensuring that Ohioans can get a full range of mental-health services in their area. The governor also renewed his proposal made earlier this year to use $85 million in federal coronavirus aid for paid internships and residencies for aspiring mental-health workers. That plan has been on ice for months.

DeWine didn’t say Wednesday how much funding he would dedicate in total to mental health priorities when he submits his budget proposal to state lawmakers. DeWine, a Greene County Republican, said his plan seeks to help remedy the “unfinished business” from decades ago, when President John F. Kennedy signed legislation to release thousands of people from psychiatric hospitals. Kennedy’s plan was to replace custodial care with community services, DeWine said, but that half of the plan has “tragically” never been followed through on, either in Ohio or nationally.

(Source: Cleveland.com)

Ohio House Votes to Decriminalize Fentanyl Test Strips

The Ohio House passed legislation Wednesday that would legalize the possession of test strips used to identify the presence of fentanyl in illicit drugs.

The policy is aimed at expanding access to the strips, a harm-reduction approach designed to reduce the near-record level of Ohioans who fatally overdose on opioids year over year.

For the last several years, experts have warned that fentanyl – a powerful synthetic opioid – has entered the drug supply and is driving increasing rates of fatal overdoses.

It’s often present in drugs without the user’s knowledge. The test strips are a cheap (they cost roughly $1) means of ensuring people know what they’re taking.

Current Ohio law, however, classifies them as “drug paraphernalia.” Possession of them can yield a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

(Source: Cleveland.com)

Deaths from Drugs, Alcohol Climb Among Seniors

Drug overdoses and alcohol-induced deaths are on the rise among Americans aged 65 and older, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics. 

Drug overdose death rates within the age group more than tripled between 2000 and 2020, and alcohol-induced death rates went up 18 percent between 2019 and 2020 alone, according to the data.

CDC data released last month indicated that drug overdose deaths in the U.S. may be coming down after spikes during the COVID-19 pandemic and record highs last year.

(Source: Thehill.com)

Addiction Recovery Homes Cutting Off Services as State Implements Regulations


CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHP) — Directors of recovery homes say recent regulations from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) are creating devastating impacts in the recovery community.

In December of 2021, DDAP rolled out a licensing system for recovery houses. This is a step folks can take after coming out of treatment for addiction before getting back to life and potentially being faced with temptations. Sometimes staying in a recovery house is court ordered; Sometimes it is voluntary.

DDAP was tasked with regulating houses with the passage of act 59 in 2017. This is the first time in Pennsylvania history that recovery homes have been regulated by the state.

The Pennsylvania Association of Recovery Residences (PARR) was created in 2011 to establish a system of standards for recovery houses. PARR has a certification process to distinguish houses that meet the standards.

“My goal has always been to make sure recovery houses were operating with standards and that’s not going to change,” said Executive Director of PARR Fred Way.

PARR certified over 200 houses in Pennsylvania. It is a voluntary program. The difference in PARR’s certification and DDAP’s license? DDAP’s is tied to all state and federal funding.

Way says the regulations from DDAP are similar to what PARR used for certification. PARR required policies and procedures, emergency preparedness plans, smoke detectors, decent furniture, hot water etc.

Secretary of drug and alcohol programs Jennifer Smith says DDAP’s regulations are a bit stricter and focus more on health and safety protocols. DDAP has accessibility requirements, expects regulated houses to keep finance records or having someone designated for bookkeeping and a policy for keeping medications.

Smith says the department has been flexible with houses. She says recovery house staff members have been struggling to find supplies and contractors to make the changes to the building necessary to become licensed. She says the department is working hard to come up with solutions for houses.

Still, some houses can’t or won’t make the changes needed to be licensed.

Just for Today Recovery Services (JFT) in Lemoyne has offered recovery housing in Central PA for nearly 15 years.

Executive director Steve Barndt says it is too costly to make the changes needed to meet the regulations required by the state to get licensed, so he is no longer offering recovery housing.

“I couldn’t really put the time into that. I miss it,” Barndt said. “We’re a non-profit so we claw, scratch we do.”

Without a license, JFT is ineligible for all state and federal funding, making the changes to get licenses even more unattainable. JFT is far from the only house making this decision.

Only 73% of counties in Pennsylvania have a licensed recovery house at the time of publication. Mostly rural counties have no options for licensed homes. But more populous counties have few, if any, options. Dauphin County has four licensed homes. Neighboring Cumberland County has one.

“I’m waiting to see the dust settle when it’s done,” Barndt said. “But in conversations I’ve had, roughly I’m feeling we’re going to lose a third of the houses that were here prior to the licensing.”

Way says ultimately, he’s worried DDAP’s licensing will force his non-profit to close, making the need for a PARR certification obsolete because it isn’t tied to funding.

“Will you ever get rid of the bad houses? Even with this license? No, they’re still going to operate,” Way said.

But what makes a “bad” house? And why were these regulations necessary?

I took the question to DDAP.

“It came to a head in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about five or six years ago,” Smith said. “These recovery houses were basically recruiting people from other countries from other states with these promises that ‘you don’t need to come with anything, just bring yourselves here. It’s going to be a great place to live. We’re going to get you the help that you need.’

She says ultimately when these people showed up, in need of not only shelter and food but also help with staying sober, it caused major problems.

“What was happening was that when they arrived with only the clothing on their back and very little cash in their pocket, they were introduced to very dilapidated houses,” Smith said.

Smith says she knows the regulations are causing challenges and the department is offering some grant funding opportunities and flexibility to those wanting to be licensed.

“I absolutely think there will be a revisiting of the regulations,” Smith said. “What we want to do is allow some time to pass and then gather input from the licensed houses, some of the houses that chose not to be licensed, folks who fund individuals who go to the houses and residents themselves.”

Barndt has plans to keep JFT up and running by securing more private funding. JFT will offer their peer support with certified recovery specialists, warm hand offs from hospitals after someone overdoses and Barndt is even planning a program to help those in recovery from both an eating disorder and addiction, as the two often go hand in hand. He plans to turn the housing quarters into housing for veterans in need. Taking care of those who have served is another one of his passions.

Unlicensed houses are allowed to remain open and can accept residents. These recovery houses though cannot accept residents whose stay would be funded by the state, and are ineligible for funding from the state and federal government.

With the law the way it is now, Barndt and Way both share the same top concern where will these people live after they leave treatment?

“There’s people that just don’t have a safe place to go or can’t go back to where they were,” Barndt said.

Am I calling that house and saying do you have a license? Or do you have a bed?” said Way.

“If you take away some of them, obviously it’s going to cause some problems,” Barndt said. 

(Source: local21news.com)

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