“Treat Addiction. Save Lives.”

Welcome To Our Website!

Our mission is to improve the care and treatment of people with the disease of addiction and advance the practice of Addiction Medicine.

Treatment decisions on the use of FDA-approved medications for addiction should be made only by skilled physicians.

 

Read and Recommended (New Feature):

Read Senator Edward J. Markey’s bill to remove limits from the numbers of patients a provider (physician/ANP/PA) can treat with buprenorphine.

The Development and Maintenance of Drug Addiction (Neuropsychopharmacology)

Read Governor Shumlin’s 2014 State of the State Address, dedicated to heroin and other opiate addiction in Vermont.

Read the letter to the editor of the New York Times. titled Treatment of Addiction, by Thomas Farley, departing Commissioner of Health in New York City.

The TnSAM Constitution and Bylaws were ratified by TnSAM members on November 22, 2013.

One of the great minds and original thinkers in TnSAM is a former Tennessee president, Rich Soper, T.M.I.A.H.N.T.L.H. (Too many initials after his name to list here).  Rich has a special column, listed below as Soper’s Soapbox.  In this section his free flow of random thoughts (which he calls “Liquid Soap”) is published as we receive them. These also fall in the read and recommended categories.  Please avail yourself of his insights and wisdom. In an article titled “Legislating Limited Treatment Will Worsen Outcomes”, he discusses — BRILLIANTLY — the unintended consequence of learned helplessness that derives from legislated mandates of inadequate, thus failed, treatments. In another he is the scholar, describing process addiction.  Tennessee may not be the biggest or richest chapter, but we have the beauty.  Avail yourself.

Items of Interest for TNSAM Members

TNSAM’s Agenda (PEACE):

  1. Parity – equality in access, benefits, coverage, respect, and treatment
  2. Education – of public, legislators, physicians in training and those in practice
  3. Advocacy – advancing the stature and recognition of the specialty
  4. Communication – facilitating the spread of ideas among members and the public
  5. Evidence-based practice – improve the quality of addiction treatment through research and education

ASAM Issues Policy Statement on Patient Access to Addiction Medications

Read the full report

News on Parity — On November 8, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) jointly issued final regulations under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (the “MHPAEA”). In general, the MHPAEA requires that group health plans offering mental health/substance use disorder benefits that apply any financial requirements or treatment limitations to these benefits cannot apply requirements or limitations that are more restrictive than the requirements or limitations applied to medical/surgical benefits.

Effective Date

The final regulations apply to group health plans for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2014 (i.e., January 1, 2015 for calendar year plans). Until that time, plans and issuers must continue to comply with the interim final regulations, which were effective for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2010.

Background

The MHPAEA requires parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits with respect to financial requirements and treatment limitations. Plans providing mental health/substance use disorder benefits generally may impose financial requirements (such as deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and out-of-pocket limitations) or quantitative treatment limitations (such as frequency of treatment, number of visits, days of coverage or other similar limits on the scope or duration of treatment) on mental health/substance use disorder benefits, as long as the requirements or limitations are on par with those imposed on medical/surgical benefits. Specifically, the requirements or limitations can be no more restrictive than the “predominantfinancial requirements or treatment limitations applied to “substantially all” medical/surgical benefits.

As previously announced in the interim final regulations, the “predominant/substantially all” test applies on a classification-by-classification basis, based on six classifications of benefits: (i) inpatient, in-network; (ii) inpatient, out-of-network; (iii) outpatient, in-network; (iv) outpatient, out-of-network; (v) emergency care; and (vi) prescription drugs. The final regulations provide that office visits can be split out as a subclassification separate from outpatient services. The final regulations specifically prohibit subclassifications for generalists and specialists.

See the News from Maryland’s new parity initiatives.

Editorials

  • 2013-08-03 – New Feature! Editorials may be found here. Editorials may be provided by any member of TnSAM. Please submit by email to the president of TnSAM. Submissions that are overly long or inflammatory may be returned for re-writing.

Old News

The 2013 TnSAM Addiction Medicine Conference held in Chattanooga, TN, August 29th and 30th, 2013, was highly successful. One hundred-thirty people from many different professions registered.  The ER/LA Opioid REMS: Achieving Safe Use While Improving Patient Care session addressed our most pressing health problem of prescription drug abuse. Ninety-one people attended this session, the vast majority being prescribers for whom the course was intended. Thank you to all who attended this important conference, and thanks for all you do!

Only those who regard healing as the ultimate goal of their efforts can, therefore, be designated as physicians.— Rudolf Virchow