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Maryland Medicaid initiative to incentivize counseling in drug treatment

September 6th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Today, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announces that effective March 1, 2017, it will implement a new payment policy for community-based Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) – a clinical intervention that combines the use of medications and substance use disorder counseling.  

Maryland Medicaid will provide a re-bundled methadone reimbursement rate to include a $63 per-week-per-patient bundle for methadone maintenance, and the ability for Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP) to bill for outpatient counseling separately, as clinically necessary. 

Currently methadone maintenance providers are reimbursed using a bundled weekly rate ($81.60) and require a weekly face-to-face visit in order to receive reimbursement for that week. The services required per COMAR are all-inclusive under this rate, and counseling is to be delivered by the provider from outpatient treatment up to intensive level of treatment.

“We believe that this initiative will positively impact those in recovery, as well as their families. Ultimately, we are confident that improvements to our treatment system will strengthen communities across Maryland that are struggling as a result of an opioid epidemic,” said Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, who chaired the State’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force.

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