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Medicaid patients with substance use disorder will have increased access to medical facilities

Hospital bed.
Hospital bed.

State health officials say that Montanans on Medicaid will now have increased access to treatment for substance use disorder after the federal government waived a restriction on what types of facilities can provide care for Medicaid patients.

According to the state health department, federal law prevents Medicaid from paying for in-patient substance use treatment at facilities known as institutions for mental disease that have more than 16 beds.

In a news release, the state health department and Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office said the state has received a federal waiver that will allow Montanans on Medicaid to receive short-term in-patient drug treatment services at these larger facilities.

It's unclear how many more treatment beds will be made available, but health officials expect wait-times for people on Medicaid to decrease significantly. This will allow patients to be quickly stabilized before they are referred to out-patient care.

State health officials say they are actively working to get other waivers approved that will allow Medicaid to pay for more community-based treatment and recovery services.
Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.