Integrated Care DC November 2023 Newsletter

DEA & HHS Extend Telemedicine Flexibilities for Controlled Medication Prescriptions

Is your practice prescribing buprenorphine or other controlled substances by telehealth? If so, you should be aware that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a second temporary extension of COVID-19 telemedicine flexibilities to continue allowing DEA-registered practitioners to prescribe schedule II-V controlled substance medications via telemedicine through December 31, 2024. This temporary rule applies even if the prescribing practitioner has not conducted an in-person medical assessment of the patient.

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DC Opens First Stabilization Center

On Monday, October 30, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) cut the ribbon on the District’s first-ever stabilization center, located at 35 K St NE. The DC Stabilization Center offers emergency crisis intervention care for individuals experiencing substance use disorder. The center also provides individualized supports, such as peer counseling and resources to sustain long-term recovery. For more information, visit DBH’s DC Stabilization Center webpage.

DHCF Releases Survey on 1115 Waiver Renewal

On November 3, the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) posted a Medicaid Director Letter (MDL #23-03) releasing a survey to solicit stakeholder responses on the direction and goals of the 1115 waiver renewal application that will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) no later than July 1, 2024. The survey requests stakeholder feedback on achievement of the goals laid out in the current 1115 Behavioral Health Transformation Demonstration, and waiver development priorities for the renewal for behavioral health services, health-related social needs (HRSN) services, and justice-involved reentry services.

This survey is part of DHCF’s efforts to ensure that stakeholders can contribute vital feedback to guide the development of the 1115 waiver renewal. DHCF encourages all interested stakeholders to respond to the DHCF 1115 Waiver Renewal survey by Monday, November 27 at 5:00 pm. Please send any questions to [email protected].

Nov. 18 is Suicide Survivors Awareness Day

On November 18, we observe International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a congressionally designated occasion for those who have lost someone to suicide to connect and find solace in shared experiences.

In 2022, the United States lost an estimated 49,449 lives to suicide. The District of Columbia has a lower age-adjusted suicide rate than the national average. However, the District still saw an average of one suicide every seven days, ranking suicide as the 14th leading cause of death, and the third leading cause for individuals 10-24 years of age in the city.

A National Institutes of Health study suggests a concerning link between cannabis use and suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts for teens and young adults. These associations remained regardless of whether someone was also experiencing depression.

The District offers a variety of resources to connect District residents to behavioral health and crisis services, including:

Upcoming Events

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If you missed any of our live webinars, you can still catch up by watching recordings on-demand in the Learning Library.

Learning Library

Have you visited Integrated Care DC’s Learning Library? It’s a comprehensive repository of webinars and resources to help DC Medicaid practices enhance person-centered care delivery. Not sure where to begin? Check out our new Learning Series webpage for quick access to trainings on key topics.


Medicaid Renewal Trainings and Outreach

You can help inform Medicaid beneficiaries about renewing their Medicaid coverage and exploring other available health insurance options if they no longer qualify for Medicaid, Alliance, or the Immigrant Children’s Program. DHCF recently updated its Stakeholder Communications Toolkit with new materials and messages. The toolkit also has instructions for using the District’s online benefits portal, District Direct. You can help individuals create an account, update their information, and access call centers where interpreters and in-language staff are on hand to assist. As of April 1, 2023, all Medicaid beneficiaries should renew their health coverage by or before June 30, 2024. Redeterminations of eligibility in the Alliance and Immigrant Children’s Program started in July 2022.

Is Your Practice Ready?

Integrating whole-person care has improved patient outcomes and increased beneficiary and provider satisfaction. Integrated Care DC will help ensure you have the infrastructure, knowledge, and tools to deliver high-value patient care.

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Behavioral Health | Econsult/Telehealth | Screening and/or Assessment | HIE | Care Team Optimization | MAT | COVID-19 | Patient Engagement | Stigma Abatement | Substance/OUD

We now publish on the first Tuesday of the month. Check out our previous newsletters here. If you have content or comments for our monthly newsletter, we want to hear from you. Please send us an email at: [email protected]