Advocacy Alert: Governor Signs Executive Order Implementing Key Provisions of CCAPP’s COVID-19 Response Strategy
May 14, 2020
by CCAPP: see their announcement.
On April 23, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom posted Executive Order N-55-20, which contains key provisions CCAPP has advocated for to assist treatment programs and professionals to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the waivers the Governor has granted to the Department of Health Care Services are:
- The ability to suspend licensing requirements as necessary
- The ability to allow offsite (treatment at alternate locations) to allow for distancing requirements
- The ability to license new facilities or treatment locations without a site visit
- A 90-day extension for cost reporting
- The ability to suspend the 5-year rule for registrants to become certified
The Executive Order allows the Department to make changes as necessary. However, these changes must be adopted by the Department. They do NOT become effective until DHCS produces guidance on how they will be implemented. Programs and professionals are expected to abide by all current laws and regulations until further guidance is provided. CCAPP will notify programs and professionals when the department releases this guidance.
"I just want to thank everyone on our team for uniting our voices so that the Governor could hear our needs," said CCAPP Chief Executive Officer, Pete Nielsen. "I also want to give our thanks to Governor Newsom and Dr. Kelly Pfeifer, Deputy Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services, for their quick response and prompt follow through on these important issues."
On the national front, CCAPP has also been successful in advocating for our workforce's inclusion in the essential worker classification to better assist us in obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) for our workers. On Thursday, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy released a letter declaring our programs as "an essential medical service," thereby granting our workforce the same access to PPE as other medical service providers. CCAPP continues to seek out PPE for its members daily and will continue to do so as long as the need is present.
The essential medical services designation also allows SUD workers to obtain no-cost childcare should they need childcare during the pandemic. This assistance is provided locally and must be requested from a childcare provider at the local level. This benefit requires a single form signed by the essential worker and can be applied immediately to the cost of childcare.
CCAPP continues to advocate for critical infrastructure support that will require budget allocations which can only be granted by the Legislature. Special COVID-19 Budget Subcommittees have been established in the Senate and Assembly. CCAPP is advocating for the following: Hardship pay for the SUD workforce; financial support for programs experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19; workforce expansion funding to address an expected increase in caseloads due to the economic downturn; stipends for recovery residence participants who have lost jobs and are not eligible for unemployment benefits; funding to cover expenses to quarantine COVID positive clients, as well as other items of importance. CCAPP will update members as the budget committees make decisions on these important requests.
As always, we want your input.
A reminder that BHAP members get regular access to our advocate in Washington, DC. If you have any questions about BHAP's advocacy efforts, please contact us.