Ohio, Pa Attorney Generals join call to change drug treatment ac - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio, Pa Attorney Generals join call to change drug treatment accessibility

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The Attorney Generals for Ohio and Pennsylvania have joined together with more than three dozen others calling on national leaders to remove a federal law that blocks certain drug treatment facilities. 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, as well as 39 others, submitted a letter to Congress, supporting HR 2938, the “Road to Recovery” Act. 

The act would create a loophole for drug treatment facilities and remove a more than 50-year-old provision in the Medicaid program that currently acts as a barrier to residential addiction treatment.

The bill addresses the “Institutions for Mental Diseases” exclusion which was created in the original 1965 Medicaid legislation to prevent the funding of large, residential mental health facilities. 

The IMD exclusion blocks residential treatment facilities from receiving federal Medicaid funding if they have more than 16 beds. 

While the exclusion led to the closure of what was, 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 “Road to Recovery” Act will remove the exclusion for addiction treatment facilities only. 
 
The change in the law is supported by health care providers, insurers, treatment centers, governors of both political parties and the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
 
“In Ohio last year more than 4,000 people died as the result of a drug overdose,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine. “The ‘Road to Recovery’ Act will help those struggling with addiction gain access to treatment, and eliminate a decades-old Medicaid rule that limits residential treatment options.  I am pleased to help spearhead this effort with my colleague Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania and be supported by attorneys general from across the nation.”

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