The substance use treatment industry has developed very quickly since the advent of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and Obamacare. Thousands of new operators and facilities have entered the industry with a desire to help those suffering from substance use disorder but without the requisite business skills required to run a facility in compliance with regulatory requirements and laws. The result is an industry that does not work together to further the interests of its members.
Every mature industry has a trade association that advocates for its members. In fact, many industries have more than one. The Addiction Treatment Advocacy Coalition (ATAC) was founded to provide political and legal advocacy, education and consumer protection in the field of addiction treatment. ATAC is no different from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) which advocates for the health insurance community and the consumers they serve or the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ATAC was formed to ensure that the substance use treatment industry has an advocate for our industry and clients at the federal, state and local levels, just like the insurance industry.
In just three short months, ATAC has had a major impact on the California substance use treatment industry. The organization has advocated for investigations around mental health parity and addiction equity. ATAC has also advocated for investigations into underpayments due to the improper use of repricing databases to determine usual, customary and reasonable reimbursement. Finally, ATAC has filed formal complaints concerning Health Net’s dragnet audit of virtually every out-of-network provider. This advocacy was supported by over 120 treatment providers in California. Strength in numbers.
The result has been investigations launched by the Department of Insurance and the Department of Managed Health Care, as well as an inquiry by the Department of Labor with respect to parity, underpayments and the Health Net audit.
ATAC has a specific approach that has created unprecedented results in just 12 weeks. We are pursuing activities from an administrative, legislative and judicial standpoint. Administratively is dealing with the regulatory agencies, legislatively is dealing with the California Assembly members, Senate and leadership, and judicially is investigating substance use treatment providers’ options legally.
It is clear that ATAC is having success administratively with the Department of Insurance, Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Labor. We have also been successful legislatively in our efforts to stop legislation like AB2403 which would have placed a burden on substance use provider access. Finally, ATAC is investigating a myriad of options on the judicial front which we will update everyone about at a later date.
The success of ATAC is due to outstanding leadership, engaged membership and leveraging the knowledge of everyone who participates. Have you joined ATAC? We are advocating for you and that requires money. Whether it is mailings, conference calls, meeting with legislative leaders or developing legal strategies, our work benefits you. It is time for your organization to step forward and help itself. Join today at https://atac.nationbuilder.com/membership.
ATAC will be developing customized information for members only. After all membership has benefits. Most importantly, there is strength in numbers. Are you ready to be one of us? Visit ATAC.org.