A new federal policy will allow 96,000 inmates in halfway houses after release from prison to be eligible for Medicaid benefits, according to USA Today. The policy will allow the former inmates access to treatment for addiction and mental health issues in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Some cities are using Medicaid funds to provide addiction treatment for repeat low-level drug offenders, the Associated Press reports. Many are mentally ill or homeless and have never had coverage for addiction treatment before.
Expanding access to Medicaid in 20 states that have not done so under the Affordable Care Act could help the estimated 1.9 million people living in those states who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, a new report concludes.
Oregon will fund many alternative pain treatments for patients covered by the state’s version of Medicaid starting in January, NPR reports. The state hopes to reduce the number of people who become addicted to opioids or abuse them.
A new analysis of Medicare’s prescription drug program finds generic Vicodin was the most widely prescribed drug in 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal. More than half of the prescriptions came from family practice or internal medicine doctors.
More than a dozen states are offering incentives to Medicaid beneficiaries to quit smoking, lose weight and make other healthy lifestyle changes, according to USA Today. These state programs are taking a cue from workplace wellness programs in the private sector.
A rule proposed this week by the Obama Administration would allow Medicaid recipients who receive services through managed care organizations or alternative benefit plans to get the same access to substance abuse and mental health benefits as those provided by private health insurance.
This year Medicare has started examining prescribing data to identify physicians who write large numbers of prescriptions for narcotic painkillers and stimulants. Next year Medicare will be able to kick doctors out of the program if they are found to be prescribing in abusive ways.
A federal law requires residential addiction treatment centers to have 16 or fewer beds in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage, The New York Times reports. The law is impeding efforts to expand addiction treatment coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The recent spike in heroin deaths—which is real– is being attributed to heroin mixed with fentanyl. We wring our hands about overdoses, but do little to make effective treatment widely available. Policy changes must be made to end this scandal explains David L. Rosenbloom, PhD, Professor at Boston University School of Public Health.
About 3.7 million Americans, who live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, suffer from mental illness, psychological distress or a substance use disorder and don’t have health insurance, according to a recent report.
Major obstacles remain to expanded treatment for addiction through the Medicaid program, according to USA Today. Although the Affordable Care Act requires treatment be offered to people who are newly insured through insurance exchanges or Medicaid, experts say a federal law is limiting available beds nationwide.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act are tremendous steps toward ensuring that all individuals can access substance abuse treatment. But the laws are not silver bullets that will close the treatment gap or help every individual who needs treatment.
As heroin and prescription drug abuse rises in New Hampshire, doctors are seeing more babies born addicted to opioids, a condition known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.
The number of people seeking addiction treatment could double under the Affordable Care Act, the Associated Press reports. Under the new law, four million people with drug and alcohol problems will become eligible for insurance coverage.
Federal officials are investigating the use of antipsychotic drugs in children enrolled in Medicaid. The Wall Street Journal reports the probe was sparked by concerns the drugs are being prescribed too often to treat behavior problems in very young children.
The chairman of the California Assembly Health Committee announced he will examine the issue of fraud in taxpayer-funded drug rehab clinics, during a hearing on the state’s Medicaid program. The problems in the clinics were uncovered through an investigation by CNN and The Center for Investigative Reporting.
The national association representing pharmacy benefits managers, which administer prescription drug plans for more than 210 million Americans, has released recommendations aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse and fraud in Medicare.
A New Jersey congressman announced this week he will introduce legislation aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse among Medicare participants. Frank Pallone, Jr., is proposing to increase the requirements for verifying the validity of prescriptions before Medicare pays for the drugs.
Many Medicaid programs make it difficult for people addicted to opioids to receive medications to treat their addiction, according to a new report. The American Society of Addiction Medicine says private insurance companies also are restricting access to these treatments.