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Medicaid waiver to expand coverage, increase care access for Kentuckians with Substance Use Disorder


The Commonwealth of Kentucky is set to expand access to treatment and recovery services for individuals with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) through a portion of its 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver, beginning July 1.

This program further amplifies the Commonwealth’s overall efforts to fight the opioid crisis, as well as other substance addictions.

With Kentucky’s commitment to combatting opioid, alcohol, and other substance dependencies in mind, the Department for Medicaid Services is implementing a new standard of care for substance use treatment through the expanded services. These new standards will enhance coverage and increase access to care for Kentuckians seeking recovery from SUD.

“Implementation of this SUD waiver will increase and improve services to those fighting with addiction,” said Carol Steckel, Commissioner of the Department of Medicaid Services. “Giving extra support impacts quality of life for the entire family.”

Current Medicaid benefits provide a full range of care, including residential treatment options. The new waiver expands access to SUD providers, allows Medicaid to reimburse for short-term residential stays (up to 30 days) in mental health facilities, and adds coverage for methadone, a form of medication assisted treatment not currently covered under Kentucky Medicaid.

The waiver will also allow qualified residential treatment facilities to expand bed capacity beyond the current limits of 16 beds, while at the same time elevating program standards regarding the types of services, hours of clinical care, and credentials for staff serving in residential treatment settings.

Additionally, the waiver will provide transportation services for some groups of individuals who need access to methadone treatment, which requires daily dosing and can be difficult to access for individuals without transportation services.

The covered populations include former foster children; pregnant women; and children under the age of 21.

The enhanced Kentucky Medicaid SUD treatment package is one part of the state’s 1115 demonstration waiver, Kentucky HEALTH. Only the SUD component of the waiver submission has been approved to move forward at this time; the Cabinet continues to work toward full approval of the waiver. CHFS will continue to share updates about the program as additional information becomes available.

Key Dates:

JUNE 17, 2019:Provider Webinar from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM ET

JUNE 20, 2019: Maintenance and Registration begins for providers

JULY 1, 2019 :  SUD changes are ANTICIPATED to start

Kentuckians can find access to treatment in their communities on Find Help Now Kentucky or by calling 1-833-8KY-HELP.

Additional information is available at http://chfs.ky.gov/.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services


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One Comment

  1. Mark LaPalme says:

    This just isn’t a reality at all!
    Medicaid does not pay for 28 days !
    Won’t pay for court order or Casey law

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