DHMH Looks to Medicaid to Fund Residential Drug Treatment

Maryland may become one of the first states to have Medicaid pay for residential drug treatment in small community and private facilities.

The Department is reaching out to the federal government to accept the request for a waiver to allow Medicaid payments for such treatment.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is asking the federal government for new funding to cover residential drug treatment at small community facilities and private institutions such as Sheppard Pratt in Towson. Medicaid now pays only for inpatient treatment at hospitals.

Maryland officials are also asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to limit Medicaid payments for observational stays in hospitals to 48 hours, to provide presumptive Medicaid eligibility to people getting out of jail or prison, and to expand dental coverage for former foster children, among other changes.

Federal funding for residential stays would enable more addicts to receive specialized treatment in their communities and open up a “reliable federal funding stream,” said Shannon McMahon, deputy secretary for health care financing at the state health department.

An exclusion clause in the Medicaid program prohibits Medicaid reimbursement for treatment at “a hospital, nursing facility or other institution of more than 16 beds that is primarily engaged in providing diagnosis, treatment or care of persons with mental diseases — including medical attention, nursing care and treatment of individuals with mental diseases.”

Maryland would become one of the first states to get a waiver from the exclusion, McMahon said. California is the only other state with a waiver.

Read the full article in The Baltimore Sun for more information.

The innovative efforts counties are putting forward to counter overdoses and the opioid crisis will be discussed at the MACo Summer Conference session “Counties Confront Substance Abuse: What’s Now, What’s New, and What’s Next”, from 1:00 pm -2:00 pm, Friday, August 19, 2016 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.

Attendees of the MACo Summer Conference will also have the opportunity to attend on-site training to be certified and equipped with naloxone. The “Learn to Save a Life – Naloxone Training for Opioid Overdoses will be held Friday, August 19 from 2:15 pm- 3:15 pm, and Saturday, August 20 from 8:00 am – 9:15 am.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Questions? vwhite@mdcounties.org