Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Official Website

Alerts and Bulletins


ASAM Service Alignment [modified 6/15/20]
Beginning July 7, 2020, DDAP will host live web presentations regarding service descriptions and expectations for aligning the 3.0 Residential/Inpatient Services (3.1, 3.5 & 3.7).  Below are two resources for each of these levels of care (LoC) that have been developed to assist with the next phase of service alignment, as well as an addendum document that applies to all three types of residential service:

These documents are located on the ASAM Transition webpage. Similar documents for other LoC will be also be posted on the ASAM webpage and sent via the listserv.

DDAP ASAM Webinars [modified 5/14/20]
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is continuing its work of aligning service delivery with THE ASAM Criteria, 2013. This year, DDAP will host a series of live webinars that will describe updated expectations for services at each Level of Care (LoC). During this process, stakeholders will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comment via email which will be answered at a later date.

Attached you can find a webinar schedule along with information on how to attend and submit questions. DDAP will also create written guidance on the updates which will parallel the content of each webinar series. When available, these materials will be shared through the DDAP Listserv, as well as published on the dedicated ASAM portion of the DDAP’s website.

DDAP encourages its treatment providers participation at each LoC that you provide. DDAP is providing multiple dates for each LoC to accommodate schedules.

You can submit questions on this process to RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.

ASAM Transition Resource - Aid for Assessing Risk Ratings [modified 3/3/20]
The attached resource, “Conducting a Multi-Dimensional Risk Rating Profile Tip Sheet”, will assist the field with assessing risk when applying The ASAM Criteria, 2013.  The Tip Sheet can also be found on DDAP’s ASAM Transition webpage under “Application Documents.”

ASAM January 2020 Update [modified 1/17/20]
Please see the attached ASAM January 2020 Update for the status and latest news regarding application of The ASAM Criteria, 2013.  

Any questions can be submitted to RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.

Additional ASAM Voluntary Training Opportunities [modified 10/16/19]
Train for Change Inc. is now offering live training webinars on the ASAM Criteria. This online training would be most beneficial for participants who already have an understanding of the ASAM Criteria. Learn more and register.

ASAM October 2019 Update [modified 10/11/19]
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs released an update on the ASAM transition as of October 2019. The document can be found on the DDAP website. Questions about the ASAM transition? Email RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.

Release of ASAM Residential Designations [modified 8/26/19]
Attached is the updated Residential ASAM Level of Care (LOC) designations for all facilities that participated in the designation survey. This process included only providers delivering residential and inpatient services and did not include providers of withdrawal management. This is a preliminary designation based only on staffing information indicated in the survey and not by actual delivery of service as indicated in The ASAM Criteria, 2013. As the implementation of all aspects of the criteria continues, designations for contracting purposes could change based upon verification of the staffing information provided and actual delivery of service as delineated in the criteria. LOC Designation Chart 8-23-19.pdf

ASAM Application Guidance Document Update [modified 8/15/19]
The department released an updated version of the Pennsylvania Guidance for Applying The ASAM Criteria, 2013. This document replaces and updates the formerly titled Guidance for Application of ASAM in Pennsylvania’s Substance Use Disorder System of Care released in May 2018. The August 2019 version of the document is more streamlined by eliminating redundancies to The ASAM Criteria, 2013 text, making it more user friendly. Those particular areas of clarification needed for applying the criteria to PA’s treatment system remain intact. In response to the field, other changes to the document include additional considerations for special populations, inclusion of guidance related to treatment planning, continued stay reviews and discharge planning, and insertion of the crosswalk chart, previously issued separately. The changes to the document will not only facilitate ease of use, but helps to focus on the text and the criteria as a guide for clinical practice and decision making, rather than solely a level of care determination tool.

Questions about the document or the progress made in the utilization of The ASAM Criteria, 2013 can be sent to ra-daasam@pa.gov.

Follow up: New ASAM Criteria 2013 training requirements [modified 7/11/19]
Important information regarding the new ASAM Criteria 2013 training requirements:

Please note that The Change Companies and Train for Change Inc. are two separate companies.

  • For information on the eLearning modules, please contact The Change Companies at 1-888-889-8866 or visit https://www.changecompanies.net/etraining/Opens In A New Window
  • For information on the live classroom trainings please contact Train for Change at 1-775-283-0669 or info@trainforchange.net.
  • If you have further questions contact DDAP at RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.

Modification to Approved Training on The ASAM Criteria [modified 7/10/19]
Effective January 1, 2020, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs will expand its approved curriculum to include online training through The Change Companies’ ASAM Criteria 2013 Edition E-learning modules. This newly approved training will be in addition to the already approved 2-day in person training on The ASAM Criteria, 2013. At that time, both training options will satisfy DDAP’s training requirement.

Important notes regarding these changes:

  • Individuals currently registered for a Train for Change 2-day ASAM Criteria, 2013 Skill Building classroom training, must fulfill their commitment to that training. De-registering from a currently scheduled 2-day classroom training to take the online course in 2020 is prohibited. Course certificates for those individuals will not be honored. Additionally, the training hosts for these scheduled in-person trainings may charge cancellation fees, payable by the agency/individual.
  • Due to the ease of access and cost effectiveness of the E-Learning Module subscriptions, it will be the responsibility of the individual and/or their employer to coordinate and absorb associated costs of this training option. 
  • For either ASAM Criteria, 2013 training options, SCAs may financially support their area providers with this training expense at their discretion and based upon the availability of funds. SCAs that have questions about the use of DDAP funds for The ASAM Criteria, 2013 trainings should contact their program officer in DDAP’s County Program Oversight Section. 
  • Certificates are available for each of The ASAM Criteria, 2013 training options. It is the responsibility of the individual and/or their employer to maintain those certificates for proof of course completion. 
  • Certificates for online trainings completed prior to January 1, 2020, will not be recognized as valid for meeting DDAP requirements.
Learn more about the approved curriculum.
ASAM Guidance [modified 3/15/19]
The ASAM “Guidance on Treatment Plan Updates, Continued Stay Reviews, Transfer/Discharge, and Authorizations” that was distributed on February 28 has been replaced with a new, edited version.

Please view the new document on the ASAM page of our website. Questions about the ASAM Transition? Email RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.

ASAM Guidance Update [modified 3/11/19]
Attached is “Guidance on Treatment Plan Updates, Continued Stay Reviews, Transfer/Discharge and Authorizations.” This guidance is in addition to previously issued direction on application of the ASAM Criteria. Please direct any questions to RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.

ASAM LOC Designation Process [modified 2/25/19]
Deputy Secretaries Ellen DiDomenico and Lynn Kovich released a memo regarding the ASAM LOC Designation process. Note: This process was meant to include only those licensed facilities providing residential/inpatient treatment services. Providers of detoxification/withdrawal management services only were not to have been part of this process.

ASAM Transition Update [modified 12/31/18]
Below is an update on the ASAM transition:

  • Pennsylvania will be fully transitioning to The ASAM Criteria for admission Level of Care Determination as of January 1, 2019.
  • Any new admissions to a level of care should be determined based upon The ASAM Criteria.
  • No admissions to a level of care should be processed in PA WITs utilizing the PCPC as of January 1, 2019.
  • If the PCPC was used for an individual already in treatment prior to December 31, 2018, any transition to another level of care within the continuum of a treatment episode (i.e., transfer, continued stay or discharge) should occur using the ASAM Criteria.
  • Watch the DDAP website (ddap.pa.gov) for the latest ASAM updates.

Questions regarding the ASAM transition may be submitted to RA-DAASAM@pa.gov.

ASAM Update [modified 11/28/18]

  • DDAP and DHS are currently analyzing the data received from residential providers in  order to designate 3.5, 3.7 levels of care (LOC). Correspondence will be sent to the providers and once LOCs have been confirmed with the providers, we will make the determinations accessible to payers.
  • Considerations for ongoing ASAM Criteria training are underway. DDAP will relay this information to providers as soon as a plan has been solidified.
  • DDAP has received several suggestions for the ASAM Guidance Document which are currently under review. Careful consideration is being given to these suggestions to determine those that have a notable impact to the delivery of care and those which are primarily found within the ASAM Text itself or are wording preferences. Any modifications to the document will be put forth, likely at the beginning of the new year.
  • Planning is occurring on service definitions regarding staffing and hours of delivery.  Watch for additional information on this. In the meantime, please conduct business as usual.
  • DDAP and DHS are working collaboratively to reinitiate the discussions and  efforts around provision of services for co-occurring disorders. We will keep the field abreast of any updates as they become available.
  • Lastly, please be reminded that DDAP has an open line of communication regarding the transition to the ASAM Criteria. You may contact the department at the following email: ra-daasam@pa.gov.

FFY 2019 Substance Abuse Block Grant [modified 9/19/18]
The Federal Fiscal Year 2019 State Behavioral Health Assessment and Plan Mini-Application is available for viewing at https://bgas.samhsa.gov, the site utilited for completion and submission of information to receive block grant funding. To access the various components of the application, log in as "citizenpa" and use "citizen" as your password. Comments about the plan can be made: https://www.ddap.pa.gov/Pages/Contact_Request_Form.aspx

DDAP ASAM Listening Session Update [modified 7/20/18]
DDAP has made available the following updated information regarding the ASAM transition to its website: a PowerPoint presented during the ASAM Listening Sessions an ASAM Application FAQ. This FAQ includes questions presented during the 3 Listening Sessions as well as questions generated at a representative number of ASAM 2-day Skill Building trainings and provides answers to questions specifically about applying the ASAM to Pennsylvania’s SUD treatment system.

ASAM Transition Update [modified 5/22/2018]
Click here to read an update on the ASAM transition.

ASAM Transition Timeline [modified 3/27/2018]
Read the latest timeline for Pennsylvania's transition to the ASAM Criteria, which includes activities to date, goals, and objectives.

February 2018 ASAM Transition Update [modified 2/27/2018]
Please see the attached PDF for an update on Pennsylvania's transition to the ASAM Criteria.