Thursday, October 5, 2017

Beshear and other attorneys general ask Congress to let Medicaid pay for in-patient treatment for addiction

Most of the nation's attorneys general, including Andy Beshear of Kentucky, are asking Congress to remove what they say is an unnecessary restriction on the use of Medicaid funds for in-patient treatment for drug dependence.

The "Road to Recovery Act," HR 2938, would allow addiction-treatment facilities to be paid by Medicaid, a program mainly run by states but mainly financed by the federal government. The 1965 Medicaid law banned payments to "institutions for mental diseases," which at that time were "to large, residential mental-health facilities," Beshear said in a news release.

"While the exclusion led to the closure of what were, in many cases, inhumane institutions, it now has the unintended effect of limiting Medicaid funding for residential treatment facilities, which can be one of the most effective ways to treat drug addiction," the release says. The bill would "remove the exclusion for addiction treatment facilities only," it says. "This will help open new avenues for addiction treatment while maintaining appropriate restrictions on mental health facilities."

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