JANUARY 18, 2018
‘Enhanced licensure and quality standards’ coming by January of next year if bill passes
A bill up for consideration in Frankfort during the current legislative session would require the state to develop quality standards for all state-licensed substance abuse treatment centers.
House Bill 124 is sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner, a Florence Republican, and Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, a Taylor Mill Republican. The bill calls for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services to review the state’s current licensing standards for substance abuse treatment programs and develop “enhanced licensure and quality standards” by January of next year.
Moser, a nurse who is director of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, said the idea is that the Heath and Family Services Cabinet will base its standards on nationally recognized best practices for drug treatment.
“I deal with plenty of folks that are trying to get into treatment,” Moser said. Some substance abuse programs, she said, are reluctant to embrace options that have shown a lot of promise, such as medication-assisted treatment.
“Some treatment centers are resistant to that,” Moser said of MAT. For centers that focus on abstinence-based treatment, resistance to MAT is a matter of the center’s “philosophy,” she said.
Moser said she agrees that abstinence-based drug programs work for some people, but medication-assisted treatment has been shown to help people stay drug-free and participate in their treatment.
The bill says the state will create standards for residential and outpatient programs, and for programs using medication-assisted treatment. The standards will be based on best practices and nationally recognized “outcome measures.” It will include a process to review the results of substance abuse programs that are licensed by the state.
She would like the Cabinet to create some “basic parameters” to measure outcomes, Moser said, but those differ by the individual and by the drug to which they are addicted.
“Every individual is different, so what success looks like to one person may be different from another,” she said.
The standards will have room for substance abuse treatment providers to run their individual programs, Moser said.
“I still think we need to give the treatment facilities some discretion,” she said. “The point is we need (programs) following best practices.”
By James Mayse