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President Trump Declares Public Health Emergency: What’s the Plan?

President Trump Declares Public Health Emergency: What’s the Plan?

All day people all over the country have been waiting for President Trump to make his formal announcement of the opioid epidemic as a national emergency. Finally, the time for the event at the White House has come, but the announcement has some wondering if enough is being said. So we want to take a little bit of time to talk about some of the highlights from the president’s announcement.

President Donald Trump did give a detailed speech regarding many efforts that are being pursued to combat the opioid epidemic in America. Yet, some are saying that he didn’t say enough about how these resources would be funded, pointing out his declaration was for a Public Health Emergency.

So what does it all mean? Why does the difference matter?

Public Health VS National Disaster

To be clear, both are forms of national emergency declarations. What is the big deal? Well, the difference is the scope and funding that comes with address each order. So today, President Trump, through the Public Health Services Act, directed his acting secretary of health and human services to declare a national health emergency. According to a senior White House official, this designation that will not automatically allocate additional federal funding for the crisis.

If the president has utilized the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, otherwise calling the opioid epidemic a national disaster, the federal government would have been able to immediately tap into funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund to combat opioids.

Some may say this move was made since the Stafford Act is traditionally used for natural disaster relief, such as with recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. President Trump and President Obama’s administration officials both say that using the Stafford Act would have been too broad and put an unwarranted burden on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund. Which seems somewhat likely, since this fund is already being depleted by recovery efforts from the three major hurricanes that hit the United States this year.

Overall, it seems many officials from this and the previous administration feel that a Public Health Emergency was a more appropriate choice out of the two.

What Will Public Health Emergency Do?

The order from President Trump will do some good, including:

  • Expanding access to telemedicine to get treatment for those in rural areas
  • Instructing agencies to limit bureaucratic delays for dispensing grant money
  • Secure Department of Labor grants for the unemployed
  • Shift funding for HIV and AIDs programs to provide more substance abuse treatment for people already eligible
  • Expands Narcan access

The nationwide health emergency that Trump ordered is more direct but comes with less immediate action.

According to Senior White House officials, they will be following up by working with Congress to get more money for the Public Health Emergency Fund. Which is a good start, since critics are quick to point out there is only $57,000 in this fund.

It is also said to increase federal funding in year-end budget deals currently being negotiated in Congress. In fact, Democratic Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey introduced a bill this week that would provide $45 billion for opioid abuse prevention, surveillance, and treatment over 10 years. But will it ever see the light of day?

The President Trump Plan: Pros

There were various parts of the speech from President Trump that did hint at some interesting ideas. Some pros and some cons include:

  1. Expanding Treatment Options

Possibly one of the bigger moves here is that President Trump said his administration would also be working to reduce regulatory barriers that prevent people from getting treatment, such as one that bars Medicaid from paying for addiction treatment in residential rehab facilities larger than 16 beds.

If the president can remove some of these hurdles, more people may have access to better options for treatment.

National Institute of Health has taken the first steps of instituting a public-private partnership that will be working toward research and resources including:

  • New treatment for addiction
  • New treatment for overdose

The president also said,

“We are already distributing nearly $1 billion in grants for addiction prevention and treatment. And over $50 million to support law enforcement programs that assist those facing prison and facing addiction.”

  1. Indictments

For one, Trump said that the Department of Justice is bringing indictments against Chinese drug traffickers responsible for bringing deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the country.

Another interesting announcement made by President Trump is that the federal government will soon be bringing major lawsuits against people and companies that are involved in the overprescribing and other shady practices concerning prescription drugs.

  1. Pulling Dangerous Prescription Drugs

Trump also says the FDA is now requiring drug companies that manufacture one high-risk opioid, Opana ER, be withdrawn from the market immediately. He states,

“We are requiring that specific opioid, which is truly evil, to be taken off the market immediately.”

President Trump also states his administration will also be pushing for the development of non-addict pain medications.

The President Trump Plan: Cons

President Trump did in many cases acknowledge some useful aspects of combatting the epidemic. But, there were also some ideas that continue to fall short of innovative.

  1. Advertising

President Trump is also emphasizing the use of a “Massive advertising campaign” to keep young people from doing drugs in the first place. President Trump said-

“- they will see the devastation and ruination it causes to people and people’s lives.”

“The fact is if we can teach young people, and people generally, not to start, it’s really, really easy not to take them. And I think that’s going to end up being our most important thing. Really tough, really big, really great advertising.”

While prevention and education are extremely important, many criticize this strategy saying that these old tactics of “Just Say No” and the D.A.R.E. program just don’t work. This advertising might have been useful if focused on treatment options, but if it is more of the scare tactics of “Refer Madness” then we probably won’t see much improvement.

  1. The Wall

The Commander in Chief also took this opportunity to promote the building of the wall between the United States and Mexico, stating:

“90% of the heroin in America comes from south of the border, where we will be building the wall, which will be greatly helping this problem!”

He took time in his speech to highlight the need to “breaking up gangs and distribution efforts” as a primary way to curb the epidemic.

Of course, the wall is often an issue of contention. Many experts have argued since President Trump proposed this as the key element of his war on opioids that attacking the supply has never worked with preventing the spread of addiction. And even if it did, many believe the wall will do little to prevent drugs from being brought into America from south of the border.

  1. Funding

Some experts are still saying this is not a proper plan because while it does allow federal agencies to move grant money, it establishes no immediate funding for a crisis that killed over 64,000 Americans last year.

Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives today narrowly passed a Senate-approved budget resolution 216 to 212, that some experts claim will cause all $1 trillion cut to Medicaid and $500 million cut to Medicare. Many recovery advocates fear that with the ambiguity concerning health care coverage there will not be enough resources in time to provide treatment to those in need.

Some representatives still believe more funding needs to be committed to the issue, while others say that many people struggling with addiction don’t have health insurance and that more must be done to expand coverage.

Moving Forward

The chairman of President Trump’s opioid commission Chris Christie commended the president, calling his announcement a “bold action” to address the opioid crisis. The opioid commission will present a comprehensive plan next week with the final report on November 1st.

No matter what your opinion at this point, we can all agree we need to be moving forward. This means taking an honest look at what is working and what isn’t. Still, the fact that the highest office in the nation has taken the time to address the issue in such terms is hopefully a sign of dramatic change on the way. Only time will tell how this latest move from President Trump will truly impact the opioid epidemic. For now, there is sure to be plenty of debate over the weight of today’s statements and how they will influence policy. There are some promises to be kept, for sure.

There is a lot more to this conversation, but for now, we have to hope that some of these new opportunities will give options and hope to those in America suffering tragically. The opioid crisis is nothing we can expect to be fixed by one person overnight. We have to continue to provide resources to those in need. Palm Healthcare Company facilities have proudly provided addiction treatment resources for decades to those in need. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Understanding the Many Options in Addiction Treatment

Understanding the Many Options in Addiction Treatment

At a time like this in America, no one should be naive to the reality of addiction and the devastation it brings. The opioid epidemic impacts people in every city in every state; whether it is through prescription painkiller abuse or heroin and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl on the illicit market. Meanwhile, methamphetamine use has also continued to grow steadily in the background. Other prescription narcotics have become more and more prevalent with misuse, and alcohol remains a legal drug both frequently abused and deadly. Something equally as important as acknowledging addiction is being aware of the options in addiction treatment.

One thing we have to continue to promote is that people seek help, regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what they think they can afford. Expenses can be an important factor for each individual when trying to find treatment; therefore it is important to remember there are always options available regardless of financial status. At the end of the day, everyone deserves a chance at making it through their adversity.

While the options may be different, they are still out there.

State Funding Rehab Facilities

For those who are extremely limited in their resources the most attainable option may be to pursue a state-funded program. State-funded rehab facilities are cost-free, which is the greatest advantage to seeking help through these programs.

Most states have some form of government-funded addiction treatment. Sadly, some people still see a stigma attached to public assistance programs and they allow it to keep them from getting help. However, for the individual who has little to no income, or with inadequate to no insurance coverage, these organizations provide detox, treatment and support services. State-funded rehabs are often included in other state services such as:

  • Child social services
  • Criminal justice and prison provisions

The funding for treatment may be included as part of these other initiatives.

Some states will offer a variety of therapy options with state-funded programs. Others might not have as many due to limited funding. Some state facilities will not necessarily have access to the same technologies and treatments as private treatment providers.

Private addiction treatment programs often have unique services depending on their approach and treatment model. However, some people still find that state-funded programs are effective in helping them get their start.

Medicaid for Addiction Treatment

One thing that can be a real help to those who are unable to afford a higher level of insurance coverage is access to state-funded health insurance programs.

Medicaid coverage for no insurance rehab is a useful option. Medicaid and Medicare may actually cover both detox and inpatient addiction treatment. Some may even cover outpatient care depending on each programs requirement for eligibility through the state. Through Medicaid or Medicare, an individual who has very limited resources may receive free or low-cost addiction treatment.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or what some call “Obamacare” insurance providers are required to cover all basic aspects of drug and alcohol dependency recovery. Medicaid covers:

  • Screenings

  • Interventions

  • Maintenance and craving medications

  • Family counseling

  • Inpatient care

  • Long-term residential treatment

  • Detox

  • Outpatient visits

  • Other mental health services

In most states, Medicaid recipients don’t even have to worry about a copay for addiction treatment services.

Medicare for Addiction Treatment

Medicare is available for anyone:

  • Over 65 years old
  • With a disability

Medicare does have a monthly premium, but that amount is also based on the individual’s income. So if you make less money you pay less for your coverage.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment can be covered by Medicare. This coverage is provided in a four-part system:

  1. Medicare Part A

Insurance for hospital stays covers up to 60 days without copay with no deductible. But Medicare only covers up to 190 days for a lifetime.

  1. Medicare Part B

This can cover outpatient addiction care at up top 80% of the costs. This includes coverage for therapy, professional interventions, and drugs administered via clinics. This also covers co-occurring disorders like depression.

  1. Medicare Part C

This is Medicare-approved private insurance for those who want to opt for more benefits. It does include more out-of-pocket costs and coverage can vary.

  1. Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D coverage will help cover the cost of addiction medications. Specifically, this form of Medicare helps with medications used to combat cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Combined Coverage

Someone who is eligible for Medicaid and Medicare can actually apply both forms of coverage to their addiction treatment. If you believe that you qualify for these insurance opportunities you can contact a caseworker for assistance with an application.

Once you have obtained coverage for any of these programs, you can research online to find facilities that accept these forms of insurance.

Keep in mind, not all facilities accept Medicaid or Medicare.

Individual Health Insurance

When examining the options for addiction treatment people who have health insurance, whether privately or through their employment, should research the coverage available through their insurance provider.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 mandates that health insurance companies to balance the alcohol and drug treatment for group plans to the stipulation for standard medical rehab.

Because substance abuse and addiction are recognized as medical conditions, insurance companies have a responsibility for covering the cost of addiction treatment. Substance use disorders are better understood today for their effects both psychiatrically and physically, so major insurance providers make a point these days to offer terms for partial or complete coverage of options for addiction treatment. Many times this coverage will allow for access to quality holistic treatment programs.

Too many people don’t know the extent of which their own insurance covers them. Find out what services are covered by your policy when seeking out care for substance abuse. As far as employers go, your right to addiction treatment is protected by FMLA, while the details of these protections and provisions may differ depending on the state or the individual companies policies.

Private Pay Options in Addiction Treatment

Of course, health insurance is not required to obtain addiction treatment services. Not everyone has insurance, or their insurance might not provide the coverage they need. There are also facilities that cater to a private pay demographic.

All across the country, there are addiction treatment facilities that offer different levels of high-quality and luxury treatment options for those who would prefer to pay cash for services. Many patients who chose to private pay do so for a variety of reasons, and they often find that they require a combination of treatment methods, including:

  • Detoxification

  • Inpatient treatment

  • Outpatient therapy

  • Group counseling

  • Intensive one-on-one counseling

  • Family Program

  • Private recovery coaching

Of course, different programs have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, those who chose to private pay for addiction treatment often do so because they are looking for a very specific approach with a very specific criterion that caters to their own needs.

Executive Treatment Programs

Executive treatment programs are another one of the options in addiction treatment. These facilities cater to clients that wish to pay more for a more private environment with more luxuries. Executive programs are more expensive and are more commonly utilized by CEOs, high-paid professionals, and celebrities.

Many programs that offer executive options for addiction treatment allow for those receiving care to continue working with their businesses or clients while attending individual therapy, support groups, and holistic treatments.

Help is Out There

Addiction is everywhere. Sadly, there are not as many resources as many recovery advocates believe there should be. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to find help with addiction and recovery.

But help is out there.

There are accredited holistic treatment programs that maintain their integrity by providing quality care to their clients. These facilities provide high-level services in a safe and comfortable environment while staying at the edge of innovations in treatment. While not all of these companies advertise their contributions, many even provide scholarship opportunities for those who cannot afford treatment to have access to their programs.

Meanwhile, we should all look to our politicians and public health officials to create even more options for addiction treatment. Until more support and funding is available for expansion of options for addiction treatment, the resources we have now do everything they can to make a difference.

Palm Healthcare Company has made a commitment to provide effective, innovative and holistic addiction treatment options to those still suffering with substance use disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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