CORI's 2016 accomplishments include:
1115 Waiver for Substance Use Disorder
This legislation was CORI's top priority for the 2016 session. The bill directs the Commissioner of DHS to seek the federal waiver and present an update to the legislature by February 1, 2017. If the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) grant Minnesota's waiver application, it will bring a substantial amount of additional federal funding to improve our continuum of care for individuals with substance use disorder; for example, additional resources would be available for transportation, employment, and housing needs. In addition, the waiver would allow for exclusions to the IMD rule, which would continue to allow our providers that have more than 16 beds to receive Medicaid funds.
Since DHS recently began classifying chemical dependency treatment providers as Institutions of Mental Disease (IMDs) any providers with over 16 beds can no longer receive federal funding. $2 Million was appropriated one-time to reduce the county share for IMDs in anticipation of a longer term solution, in the form of an IMD exclusion, as a part of the 1115 waiver.
Ujamaa Place serves young African American men, many of whom lack a GED or are currently testing at a grade school level educationally, and/or are homeless, unemployed, have mental health issues, chemical health issues, etc. CORI secured a $600,000 appropriation in ongoing funding each year to greatly expand the number of individuals they are able to serve.
Peer Support Services
Only 10% of adults who need treatment for addiction actually get services, Peer Recovery Support Services offer individualized guidance and help before, during, and long after treatment. CORI secured grant funding for Recovery Community Organizations to provide these services across the state. Peer recovery support services are non-clinical, peer-run services that rebuild lives, reduce costs, and empower individuals in recovery to stay sober and improve their lives. CORI secured an appropriation in the amount of $34,000 in 2017, $725,000 in 2018, and $725,000 in 2019
Drug Sentencing Reform
CORI supported the effort to pass significant reforms to Minnesota's drug sentencing guidelines. The bill that was passed met 3 of CORI's priorities for this legislative session: funding for specialty courts, eliminating the need for an additional state prison, and additional CD treatment beds in the Department of Corrections. Each provision is outlined below.
The drug sentencing reform bill creates a Community Justice Reinvestment Account – in short, the account will fund CD and mental health treatment as well as drug courts. Based on substantial reforms included in the bill, there is an anticipated savings that has been estimated at $10 million over the next biennium that will be put into this account. Funding drug courts is a spending priority for these resources. In addition, by eliminating some of the low-level minimum sentences, more offenders will have access to programs like drug courts, in lieu of incarceration.
Eliminating the need for an additional state prison
Currently, approximately 500 inmates are being housed in county jails for their prison sentence because all of the DOC facilities are at capacity. The reforms included in this bill will have a bed savings of approximately 700 beds, eliminating the need for the Department of Corrections to build another prison or lease the facility in Appleton.
Additional Treatment Beds in the DOC
The bill provides funding for 70 new chemical dependency/mental health treatment beds. Additionally, $250,000 is appropriated to fund CD release planners for the prisons in Stillwater and Shakopee.
Prescription Monitoring Program
The House and Senate were able to come to an agreement to several reforms to the PMP bill. Perhaps the most important to CORI is required registration of all prescribers to the program.
Expanded Access to Naloxone
Varied stakeholders were able to come to an agreement in expanding the ability of pharmacists to dispense naloxone.
Pharmacy Take Back
Allows pharmacies to accept unused or unwanted drugs from individuals or long term care facilities on behalf of the user for disposal.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Requires training on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders for foster care providers. Minnesota is the first state to make this requirement. Researchers have found that rates of FASD children in foster care are as much as 10 times higher than the general population.
U of M Rochester Collegiate Recovery
Provides funding to design and implement a collegiate recovery program at the Rochester campus of the University of Minnesota. $100,000 one-time appropriation in 2017.
Student Support Services
Provides funding for additional student support services personnel, which includes individuals licensed to serve as school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, school nurses or chemical dependency counselors. $12.13 million one-time funding in 2017.
Full Service Community Schools
Provides funding for full-service community schools, which allow schools to assess and provide for the needs of low-income students by partnering with community-based organizations. The schools are designed to become hubs for academic, social and health services. $1 million one-time funding in 2017.
Addiction Medicine Fellowship at HCMC
Trains physicians in treatment for opioid dependence, alcohol dependence treatment, medication assisted therapy, mental health intervention, pregnant women's care coordination, and psychiatric services. $210,000 in 2017 to support up to four physicians in the program.
Excellence in Mental Health Act
This bill allows the state to compete for federal dollars to do a pilot program to improve access and coordination for mental health and addiction treatment. The clinics would provide treatment, as well as connect patients with resources to help them find housing, jobs and other services. Fully funded with $188,000 in 2017, $5.1 million in 2018, and $3.3 million in 2019.