Since the early 1980s, a number of models which address patient placement criteria have been developed nationwide. In 1981, the Minnesota legislature asked the Human Services Commissioner of that state to develop criteria to determine the appropriate level of care for public assistance recipients with chemical dependency problems. In 1986, the Northern Ohio Chemical Dependency Treatment Directors Association, working in conjunction with the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), published a criteria for a continuum of care that was recognized nationally. In 1989, NAATP began collaborating with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) in the development of criteria. The American Society of Addiction Medicine is composed of physicians who specialize in the treatment of substance abuse. Their efforts consisted of an extensive review of treatment literature and two years of work by two task forces. In the early 1990s ASAM, the States of Oregon, Iowa, Kansas and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts developed patient placement criteria for substance abuse patients.
Wisconsin activities regarding development of substance abuse placement criteria formally began in September 1994. Jointly sponsored by the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and the Bureau of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, a patient placement criteria conference entitled "On The Cutting Edge" served as a focal point to introduce this concept to Wisconsin substance abuse treatment professionals. A series of meetings were held during the following year which were attended by major stakeholders in the substance abuse treatment field and by managed care/insurance industry representatives. These individuals have since developed a system of patient placement criteria for adoption by all stakeholders in the Wisconsin substance abuse treatment delivery system. It represents the full continuum of care ranging from residential to outpatient treatment service and all levels of detoxification services.