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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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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) treatment services remains high. Medicaid plays a key role in financing behavioral health care, paying for 21% of SUD services and 25% of mental health services as of 2014. Additionally, Medicaid Section 1115 waivers related to behavioral health currently are the most frequently sought type of waiver by states. In recent years, most states seeking behavioral health waivers request authority to use federal Medicaid funds for services provided in “institutions for mental disease” (IMDs, an antiquated term in the statute). Since the creation of the Medicaid program, Congress has prohibited states from using Medicaid funds to pay for IMD services for non-elderly adults (ages 19-64). This brief answers key questions about the nature and history of the Medicaid IMD payment exclusion and identifies current administrative and legislative issues to watch.

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…

Key Themes in Medicaid Section 1115 Behavioral Health Waivers

State interest in Medicaid Section 1115 behavioral health waivers, including mental health and substance use disorders, remains high. As of November, 2017, there are 15 approved and 11 pending behavioral health waivers in 22 states. This issue brief describes recent waiver activity in four areas: using Medicaid funds to pay for substance use and/or mental health services in “institutions for mental disease” (IMDs), expanding community-based behavioral health benefits, expanding Medicaid eligibility to cover additional people with behavioral health needs, and financing delivery system reforms.

Medicaid Moving Ahead in Uncertain Times: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018

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 conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Health Management Associates (HMA), in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD). This report examines the reforms, policy changes, and initiatives that occurred in FY 2017 and those adopted for implementation for FY 2018 (which began for most states on July 1, 2017). Key areas covered include changes in eligibility and enrollment, managed care and delivery system reforms, long-term services and supports, provider payment rates and taxes, covered benefits (including prescription drug policies), and opioid harm reduction strategies.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.