US West Virginia gets approval to expand substance abuse treatment coverage

00:35  11 october  2017
00:35  11 october  2017 Source:   The Hill

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CHARLESTON, WV - The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), has received approval for a Medicaid waiver which will allow West Virginia to expand substance use treatment and services for Medicaid members.

West Virginia gets approval to expand substance abuse treatment coverage © Provided by The Hill West Virginia gets approval to expand substance abuse treatment coverage The Trump administration has approved a request by West Virginia to expand Medicaid coverage for treatment of substance abuse disorders, state officials announced Tuesday.

West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country, and officials said the waiver will contribute to a "comprehensive statewide strategy" to combat prescription drug abuse and opioid use disorders.

"West Virginia is facing a public health crisis that needs to be addressed in order to improve the well-being of our residents," the state said in the waiver request.  

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West Virginia continues to work collaboratively across child and adult systems to expand the full continuum of mental health and substance abuse services and recognizes that early intervention and timely treatment is essential to meeting the complex mental health needs of transitional age youth at

The federal government will pay for more than 80 percent of the cost for the waiver, which allows West Virginia to cover methadone, naloxone, peer recovery support, withdrawal management and short-term residential services to all Medicaid enrollees.

The approval takes effect Jan. 1 and will run through the end of 2022. The state said it aims to use the expanded services to reduce overdose deaths by 2021.

In a statement, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said the waiver is "critical to protect our Medicaid budget so our state can meet its federal obligation for these vital services."

"We need to help our people get the care they need to get their lives back on track and stop these senseless overdose deaths," Justice said.

Cleaning up 'Methadone Mile' and other drug havens .
A young woman crouches on a dusty strip of grass alongside a busy Boston thoroughfare and plunges a needle into her arm. Farther down the road, a man injects heroin into another man's hand beside a gas station convenience store.

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