Friday, May 30, 2008

DUI Initiative Assists Poor with Access to Care

In 2005 the State of New Jersey set aside $7.5 million for the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) initiative to support the treatment of impoverished New Jersey residents convicted of driving while intoxicated. The fund is administered through the Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services/Intoxicated Driving Program (DAS/IDP) and covers the full range of care for addiction treatment.

Residents of New Jersey convicted of driving while intoxicated after October 17, 2000, are eligible to access these funds if they are determined to be financially eligible based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Drivers who were recently arrested for intoxicated driving also are considered eligible for the initiative provided they can verify their intoxicated driving arrest and meet the financial eligibility requirements.

The DAS/IDP staff involved with the DUII includes Ann Wanamaker, acting chief, IDP, and George Mladenetz, DUII coordinator,IDP, both of whom have extensive experience in the field of substance abuse. In its role as the DUII’s lead agency, NCADD-NJ is responsible for verifying client information, obligating DUII funding, paying DUII eligible providers for services rendered and reporting to the IDP and IDRCs on client activities. NCADD-NJ staff involved in the DUII include Maryann Diaz, DUII/ATR Program Manager, Steve Remley, the agency’s Director of Operations, Laura Videtti, Controller, and Rob Kocher, Director of Information Technology. Treatment providers can electronically submit client information for billing encumbrance, report progress, update services and bill for services. The transfer of funds for approved services provided is often accomplished within 24-48 hours.

“The experience that I have had, working on the DUI Initiative for the past 2 ½ years, has been both professionally and personally gratifying. I am continually impressed with the commitment the treatment providers in our network have made to this initiative. Their dedication to providing treatment services that were once not readily available to these clients is to be commended and it has been very rewarding to know that our combined efforts are truly making a difference in our communities,” says Maryann Diaz.

Questions regarding billing submissions and payments should be directed to Maryann Diaz at (609) 689-0599 x7019 or by email.

For more information about the Intoxicated Driving Program go to the Division of Addiction Services Web site.

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