Efforts to increase Maine access to opioid treatment at risk
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ effort to increase access to opioid treatment program for residents is being threatened by a federal requirement in the Medicaid program.
The state Legislature tabled a bill that would have increased reimbursement rates by 8% this month for those offering medication-assisted treatment to Medicaid patients.
The bill is being blocked by a federal provision called the upper payment limit provision, which controls Medicaid costs.
State taxpayers would now be responsible for any costs above the limit.
This hurdle comes at a time when the state is overwhelmed by the opioid crisis, with 354 drug overdose deaths in 2018 and 417 in 2017.
The Portland Press Herald reports this issue is a top priority for Mills.