Medicaid rule threatens drug rehab funding

Medicaid rule threatens drug rehab funding


AMY COVENO IS LIVE IN THE STUDIO TO EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS HAPPENING. IT’S CALLED THE I.M.D. EXCLUSION, IT PROHIBITS FEDERAL MEDICAID PAYMENTS FOR INSTITUTIONS OF MENTAL DISEASE AND THAT INCLUDES RESIDENTIAL REHAB FACILITIES THAT TREAT THINGS LIKE HEROIN ADDICTION. NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS HALF A DOZEN FACILITIES THAT ARE SCRAMBLING NOW TO FIND A SOLUTION BEFORE THE MARCH 1st DEADLINE, AND BEGGING STATE LEADERS TO HELP. IT MAY NOT LOOK LIKE IT, BUT CHERYL IS IN A TAIL SPIN, SHE’S THE DIRECTOR OF A RESIDENTIAL DRUG REHAB PROGRAM IN MANCHESTER THAT’S ON THE BRINK OF LOSING GOVERNMENT FUNDING TO PAY FOR LOW INCOME ADDICTS TO GET HELP. THIS IS A CRISIS OF HUGE PROPORTIONS. IT’S A CLAUSE IN THE FEDERAL MEDICAID GUIDELINES THAT LIMITS MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENTS TO PROGRAMS WITH FEWER THAN 16 BEDS. IT WAS ADDED IN THE 1960’S, AS A WAY TO DETER STATES FROM INSTITUTIONALIZING THE MENTALLY ILL. BUT IN PRACTICE NOW IN THE MIDST OF A HEROIN EPIDEMIC THE I.M.D. EXCLUSION STRIPS EVERY RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAM IN THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE OF MEDICAID FUNDING. OUR MISSION IS TO HELP THOSE WHO HAVE NO FINANCES, THOUGHS WHO ARE UNDERSERVED, SO IT REALLY AFFECTS OUR MISSION. OUR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT IS WORKING WITH MANAGED CARE ORGANIZATIONS TO DEVELOP A BROADER NETWORK OF PROVIDERS WHO CAN PROVIDE TREATMENT. LAST YEAR A STAGGERING $284 PEOPLE DIED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE FROM DRUG OVERDOSES. HERE AT FARNUM CENTER HALF OF THEIR BEDS ARE RESERVED FOR PRIVATE PAY CLIENTS. THE OTHER HALF GO TO LOW INCOME ADDICTS. WHILE THE MEDICAID EXPANSION IN NEW HAMPSHIRE INCLUDES SUBSTANCE ABUSE BENEFITS, ANY FACILITY WITH MORE THAN 16 BEDS DOESN’T QUALIFY FOR THE CASH. DR. WILKE IS BEGGING THE GOVERNOR, THE SENATORS, CONGRESSIONAL REPS, FOR A WORK AROUND, A WAIVER, A CHANGE IN THE LAW. I CERTAINLY WOULD ENCOURAGE THOSE ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT EXCLUSION TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY LOBBY CONGRESS AND LET OUR FEDERAL DELEGATION KNOW THAT THAT’S A CONCERN TO THEM AS WELL. DR. WILKE HAD AN EMERGENCY MEETING WITH THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS TODAY WHO VOTED TO ANTE UP THE $60,000 IT WILL COST TO KEEP THOSE STATE BEDS OPEN FOR THE NEXT MONTH. AFTER THAT, THEY MAY BE FORCED

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