Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
In a dramatic shift, the federal government is considering contributing funds for treatment of Medicaid enrollees who need treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, a cost that has previously be paid only through state and local sources (Source: “Medicaid To Fund More Addiction Treatment,” Kaiser Health News, January 7, 2016).
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing to cover 15 days of inpatient rehab per month for anyone enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan.
Some who work in the addiction field, however, are not happy with that news. While it’s a good start, they say, 15 days of residential care isn’t nearly enough time for many people addicted to heroin, opioids, alcohol, or other drugs to get clean and stay that way.
“Where they came up with the 15 days, I don’t know, but it’s not based on research,” said Mike Harle, head of the nonprofit treatment program Gaudenzia, which serves about 20,000 patients a year in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. In just 15 days, he said, you can’t expect to achieve a positive outcome.