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Joint Commission’s Revised Requirements for SUD Treatment Take Effect July 1

June 01, 2020

Revisions to the Joint Commission’s standards for behavioral healthcare organizations that provide substance use disorder treatment will go into effect on July 1. The commission said in an announcement that the changes “are intended to incorporate best practices and decrease variation among organizations to further improve safety and quality of care.”

Among the revisions:

Patient history. More detail around patient history to be obtained, including the individual’s method of acquiring a substance, additional information on patterns of use, personal history (such as legal problems, divorce, loss of family member), living arrangements and readiness to change.

Elements of treatment performance. Treatment organizations are to use an evidence-based, multidimensional admission assessment, follow written policies on drug testing, and educate and train staff on drug testing. Treatment should have a plan for care developed at the time of admission that reflects assessed needs, strengths, preferences and goals of individuals served.

MAT. Medication-assisted treatment programs are specifically identified as needing to develop a discharge plan that addresses referrals for continuing outpatient care and a plan for re-entry into maintenance treatment if relapse occurs.

Financial obligations. Prior to admission, individuals must be provided with information about charges and financial responsibility for care, treatment and services to be provided, including travel and other expenses related to care.

The revised requirements can be read in full on the Joint Commission website.

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