With deaths from opioid overdose rising steeply in recent years, and a large segment of the population reporting knowing someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers, the nation’s opioid epidemic affects people across all incomes, ages, and regions. These resources provide analysis and insight into the epidemic, who it affects, and how it’s being addressed by federal and state officials and the broader health care system.
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State Options for Medicaid Coverage of Inpatient Behavioral Health Services

This report provides data to understand current patterns of Medicaid enrollees’ use of inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder and mental health treatment services; explains the options for states to access federal Medicaid funds for enrollees receiving IMD services; analyzes current Section 1115 waiver activity; and draws on interviews with policymakers using IMD waivers in Vermont, Virginia, and San Diego County to examine successes and challenges

How Connecting Justice-Involved Individuals to Medicaid Can Help Address the Opioid Epidemic

This issue brief identifies key lessons learned from how four states (Missouri, Ohio, New Mexico, Rhode Island) are connecting people leaving the criminal justice system to Medicaid coverage and services, with a focus on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and supports for people with opioid use disorder. It builds on previous briefs that assessed state efforts to connect people involved in the justice system to Medicaid coverage. It is based on interviews conducted in late 2018 and early 2019 with state Medicaid, behavioral health, and corrections officials in the four states and in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, as well as interviews with managed care organizations, providers, and advocates in those states and published information on the states’ experiences.

The Opioid Epidemic and Medicaid’s Role in Facilitating Access to Treatment

This brief describes nonelderly adults with opioid use disorder, including their demographic characteristics and insurance status, and compares utilization of treatment services among those with Medicaid to those with other types of coverage. It also describes Medicaid financing for opioid treatment and the ways in which Medicaid promotes access to treatment for enrollees with OUD.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis: Medication-Assisted Treatment at Health Care for the Homeless Programs

Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs, a subset of community health centers, play a significant role in addressing the opioid epidemic by providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT, which combines one of three medications (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone) with behavioral therapies, is the standard of care for opioid use disorder (OUD). This brief presents findings from an analysis of health center data on the provision of buprenorphine-based MAT, as well as interviews with providers and administrators from 12 HCH programs about strategies they adopted to implement MAT programs.

States Focus on Quality and Outcomes Amid Waiver Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. Report findings are drawn from the annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This report examines the reforms, policy changes, and initiatives that occurred in FY 2018 and those adopted for implementation for FY 2019 (which began for most states on July 1, 2018). Key areas covered include changes in eligibility, managed care and delivery system reforms, long-term services and supports, provider payment rates and taxes, covered benefits, and pharmacy and opioid strategies.

Federal Legislation to Address the Opioid Crisis: Medicaid Provisions in the SUPPORT Act

On October 3, 2018, the Senate overwhelmingly passed comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to address the opioid epidemic, sending the measure to President Trump who has indicated he will sign it. The bill, the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, was passed earlier by the House and tackles many aspects of the epidemic, including treatment, prevention, recovery, and enforcement. While very broad in scope, the final legislation contains a number of provisions related to Medicaid’s role in helping states provide coverage and services to people who need substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, particularly those needing opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment.

The Role of Community Health Centers in Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

This brief presents the results of the 2018 health center survey questions focused on activities releated to addressing the opioid epidemic. It includes information on opioid use disorder among health center patients, on-site provision of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and naloxone, provider training on providing MAT, treatment capacity issues, and safe prescribing practices. It also compares activities in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states and discusses the critical role Medicaid plays in health centers’ ability to address the epidemic.