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.