Reps. Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge and Marcy Kaptur Applaud New CMS Medicaid/SUD Guidance

Jul 30, 2015 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Tim Ryan (OH-13), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) and Marcia Fudge (OH-11) applaud new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for states to improve access to treatment for individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders (SUDs).  The new rules allow states to design and test innovative mental health service delivery programs and apply for funding under Medicaid.

“The heroin epidemic in the United States is growing.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin-related deaths nearly doubled between 2011 and 2013, with more than 8,200 people dying in 2013 alone.  More than 980 of these were Ohio residents.  As a nation, we should be doing everything we can to save American lives. While there is still much work to be done, I applaud the new guidance from CMS. Allowing states increased flexibility to test Medicaid coverage for substance use treatment is a giant step in the right direction,” said Rep. Fudge.

“Addiction is a disease, and the people suffering from it deserve the same opportunities for care that are available to anyone else who gets sick in this country.  Treatment is also the most efficient and cost-effective way to help families and communities respond to addiction, especially as rates of heroin and synthetic drug overdose, prescription drug abuse, and other forms of addiction continue to rise in our region and across the country.  This announcement from CMS paves the way for Ohio and all states to address this growing public health concern,” said Rep. Kaptur.

“Day in and day out, I hear tragic stories of families and communities broken apart by drug use and am left heartbroken every time.  Unfortunately in Ohio, only 1 in 10 people in need of treatment have access to it.  That is why I applaud this move to increase opportunities and develop innovative treatment solutions to begin to stem the tide of this growing epidemic we face in Ohio and all across the United States,” said Rep. Ryan.

Representatives Fudge, Kaptur and Ryan introduced the Breaking Addiction Act of 2015 earlier this year to give states the flexibility to use federal Medicaid matching funds for mental health treatment.  Click here to read the Breaking Addiction Act of 2015.  Visit https://www.cms.gov/ to learn more about the new guidance and service delivery opportunities.