ADMS Block Grant:

Drug Treatment Services Could Be Improved by New Accountability Program

T-HRD-92-4: Published: Oct 17, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) oversight of drug abuse treatment services supported by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Services (ADMS) Block Grant. GAO noted that: (1) to examine how states have implemented the fiscal year (FY) 1988 legislative peer review requirement, HHS selected 10 states that received about 60 percent of the ADMS block grant funds appropriated for FY 1990; (2) the 10 states reviewed did not fully address the quality and appropriateness of drug treatment services in their licensing and certification processes; (3) most states did not have formal definitions of quality and appropriateness of drug treatment, primarily because the state either did not have an official definition or the state did not make such judgments; (4) in analyzing FY 1989 state reports, HHS found that the reports presented vague and incomplete information about how states were complying with the peer review requirement; and (5) the HHS voluntary compliance policy does not require states to report uniform information on their planned and actual use of block grant funds, and may limit the effectiveness of the State Systems Development Program (SSDP) in helping states to assure HHS and Congress that ADMS-supported services are used to provide effective drug treatment. GAO believes that HHS needs to closely monitor SSDP and keep Congress informed of it.

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