Medicaid waivers for expanded opioid treatment resources granted to 2 states

CMS has approved Medicaid requests from Utah and New Jersey related to opioid treatment, according to The Hill.

Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's office said Wednesday the agency approved the state's Medicaid request to expand services to 4,000 to 6,000 childless Utah residents, and also gave the state authority to provide Medicaid enrollees with residential substance abuse treatment using federal monies.

Newly eligible members include Utah adult residents earning 5 percent or less of the federal poverty level. Eligible members must also be "'chronically homeless or involved in the justice system through probation, parole or court-ordered substance abuse or mental health treatment."

"I've always said that the federal government should give states the flexibility to innovate in how they operate their Medicaid programs," the governor explained. "Nobody knows how to address the unique challenges we face as a state better than we do. [The CMS] announcement allows us to address the specific challenge of extending healthcare coverage — including substance abuse and mental health services — to the homeless population."

CMS also approved New Jersey's request to use Medicaid funds for substance abuse treatment, according to The Hill.

In a statement cited by the publication, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the waiver will affect "thousands more New Jerseyans."


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