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Medicaid, HealthChoice MCOs take steps to prevent opioid-related problems

February 8th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

In keeping with the Hogan administration’s leadership in fighting the opioid crisis in Maryland, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is announcing policies reforming the opioid-prescribing process in the Medicaid program, to seek to block the prescription pathway to substance use disorders.

In partnership with all eight of its HealthChoice managed care organizations, the program Maryland Medicaid aims to reduce opioid misuse, dependence, overdose and death in both Medicaid fee-for-service and HealthChoice managed care programs.

“These policy changes will not only help those struggling with substance abuse, but also aid prevention efforts, treatment options, and increase our capacity to save lives,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “Our administration strongly supported Medicaid’s waiver renewal, which will significantly expand treatment options by providing reimbursement where it has been absent – and we support this step as well.”

“More than 20 percent of Marylanders are enrolled in the HealthChoice program,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Six out of eight of our HealthChoice managed care organizations are integrated provider and payer networks, so they are natural partners in our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. These changes support our strategic approach to enhance the reach of these policies through collaborative education, prevention and treatment action.”

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