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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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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.

Federal Legislation Related to Medicaid and Opioids: What to Watch

With President Trump having declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, both the House and Senate are advancing legislation to address the crisis. A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes current federal legislative proposals related to Medicaid’s role in the opioid epidemic and identifies issues to…

Key Questions about Medicaid Payment for Services in “Institutions for Mental Disease”

With the opioid epidemic continuing, state interest in expanding access to substance use disorder (SUD) services remains high. Medicaid financed 21% of SUD services and 25% of mental health services in 2014. Section 1115 waivers related to behavioral health remain the most frequent type of waiver sought and obtained by states, with most requesting authority to use federal Medicaid funds for services provided in “institutions for mental disease” (IMDs). Since Medicaid’s inception, Congress has prohibited states from using Medicaid funds for IMD services for non-elderly adults. This brief provides new data and answers key questions about the Medicaid IMD payment exclusion as waiver activity continues, and Congress considers legislative changes, including a House bill that would restrict IMD SUD services to those with opioid use disorder, excluding those with other SUDs.

Governors’ Proposed Budgets for FY 2019: Focus on Medicaid and Other Health Priorities

This issue brief provides Medicaid highlights from governors’ proposed budgets for state fiscal year (FY) 2019 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 in most states). Proposed budgets reflect the priorities of the governor and are often blueprints for the legislature to consider. In total, we reviewed 39 proposed state budgets and text from 46 state of the state speeches. This review revealed that while state revenue collections improved in 2017 compared to 2016, considerable economic and regional variation persists, many states are facing significant budget challenges unrelated to Medicaid such as unfunded pension liabilities or falling oil prices, and the outlook for 2018 remains uncertain due, in part, to the impacts of the 2017 Federal Tax Reform Act.

Opioids

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…