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Separate opioid funding could limit care for addicts, experts warn; MHPA comments

from Inside Health Policy (subscription required)

Mental health advocates are blasting the Senate Republican proposal to set up a separate funding pool for the care of opioid addicts currently covered through Medicaid expansion but who under the American Health Care Act would not be allowed to re-enroll in Medicaid once they cycle off.

Jeff Myers, president and CEO of Medicaid Health Plans of America, said that the diversity of people who need treatment for opioid abuse will make a siloed approach difficult. "Opioid deaths cut across every age and geographic demographic," Myers said. Myers said the biggest challenge for Medicaid plans on the front lines of treating opioid abuse has been building networks of providers and clinics that can adequately address the epidemic. "It seems highly unworkable to me to create a free-standing pillar that is not going to be integrated with Medicaid or commercial platforms to focus on opioid addiction," Myers said. more

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