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medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders
December 4, 2001
Dear Opioid Treatment Program Sponsor:

This letter is to apprize you of significant developments affecting opioid treatment programs. On November 30, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the approval of four accreditation bodies (enclosed) under the new opioid treatment program regulations (42 CFR Part 8). The four accreditation bodies are:

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)

Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services (COA)

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse

We have enclosed additional contact information (see Fact Sheet) about these approved accreditation bodies.

You may recall, as a condition for "transitional certification" under SAMHSA’s new regulation (42 CFR §8.11(d)), each OTP agreed to apply to an approved accreditation body within 90 days from the date SAMHSA approves accreditation bodies under the rule. Therefore, OTPs with transitional certification must apply to one of the above accreditation bodies by March 4, 2002. OTPs that have received "provisional certification" must achieve accreditation within one year of their provisional certification date (see 42 CFR § 8.11(e)).

CSAT has received questions (enclosed) from OTPs that are presently accredited by one of the above approved accreditation bodies. These OTPs have asked about the need to have an accreditation survey conducted at this time. As noted in the preamble to the final rule (66 FR 4086, January 17, 2001), SAMHSA will consider the issue on a case-by-case basis. OTPs that believe they have current accreditation status that involve substantial compliance with the Federal opioid treatment standards under 42 CFR 8.12, should submit supporting documentation to that effect to SAMHSA at the following address: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (OPAT), 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 2-1075, Rockville, MD 20857

The preamble to the final rule also discussed SAMHSA’s intention to reduce the economic burden associated with accreditation costs. Accordingly, on October 23, SAMHSA issued a Guidance for Applicants (GFA) to permit approved accreditation organizations to apply for and obtain grants to reduce accreditation inspection and training costs to OTPs.

Thank you for your cooperation in this important public health initiative.



H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., CAS, FASAM
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment


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