By: Sherry Daley, CCAPP Government Affairs and Corporate Communications Director
As California's largest advocacy organization in California for addictions programs and professionals, CCAPP has been tirelessly been working to improve the treatment industry in California.
Six bills were introduced in the California Legislature this year aimed at driving treatment programs and services out of communities. Five of these measures were defeated early in the session. However, the co-called NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) advocates ended the legislative year with a full court press to see legislation passed for Orange County that would have had a chilling effect on treatment across the state. Assembly Bill 572 (Quirk-Silva) would have placed a separate, full time investigator in Costa Mesa to respond to NIMBY complaints throughout the county, although the area only registers less than 35 complaints per year. CCAPP testified in committee on the bill, encouraging legislators to create solutions to the root causes of problems with positive solutions, rather than applying the same tools that have proven to be ineffective in resolving the issues now plaguing the state’s treatment system.
The California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) has drafted a comprehensive approach to improving quality and prohibiting unethical practices in California. The California Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (C-CARA) was drafted in late 2016 as a package of bills to address everything from patient brokering, to insurance abuses, to counselor competency. As the package of bills moves through the system, legislators are taking note and expressing a desire to work with CCAPP and its coalition partners on these issues.
“Treatment leaders and counselors are on the front lines,” said CCAPP CEO Pete Nielsen.
“We know what the problems are and there is no one that cares more deeply about clients than the members of CCAPP. We are leading the movement to rid the system of abusive, fraudulent, and incompetent treatment.”
Nielsen and CCAPP Senior Governmental Affairs Director Sherry Daley have been working with legislators, department leaders, and staff to create solutions that actually target the root causes of fraud and abuse which lead to NIMBY outcry.
“It’s simple in their (the NIMBY’s) minds,” said Nielsen.
“You just get rid of treatment by banning it, regulating it out of business, or cutting its funding… problem solved. But that doesn’t solve anything. Addiction will increase, people will die, and communities will get sicker. There has to be a better way than the confrontational approach going on now.”
CCAPP’s aggressive legislative agenda targets the specific causes of problems conflated by the news media where NIMBY sentiment is highest. The C-CARA includes a patient brokering prohibition bill, insurance reform legislation, addiction counselor licensing bill, workforce professionalism measures, recovery residence certification (voluntary), and solutions to systemic problem of under payment for publicly funded programs.
“It is ironic that CCAPP and the NIMBYs sit at the same table, on opposite sides, in hearings at the Capitol,” said Nielsen “We should be working together to uproot the bad actors and support the good actors.
“We agree whole heartedly with them about the seriousness of the complaints raised about unethical and abusive practice in the industry. The difference is, we know what will work to improve things… and our objective is to improve the quality and access to addiction treatment, not demolish it.”
The Legislature is now on summer recess. After the recess, work will begin again to move reform forward, in a logical and thoughtful manner. To view CCAPP’s C-CARA legislative package, visit ccara.info.
About Sherry Daley
Sherry Daley is a leading governmental advocate in California where she has been instrumental in policy development for the alcohol/drug addiction profession for more than 20 years. Her experience in law and regulation includes engagement in crafting and implementing the state’s coverage for substance use disorder benefits under the Affordable Care Act; enforcement of the state’s parity laws; strengthening regulation of licensed and certified facilities; developing new regulation for certified counselors; and procuring the nation’s highest dedicated taxation revenue for treatment from any legal marijuana initiative to date.
Daley is published in several industry publications including, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Weekly, Counselor Magazine, and the CCAPP Weekly Dispatch. She also wrote and produced Crossroads Centere Antigua’s quarterly publication for Eric Clapton’s renowned facility.
Daley has a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and currently serves as Planning Commission Chair for a city south of Sacramento, California.