US to Allow Medicaid to Pay for Drug Treatment in Prisons
In February, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced that it will allow Medicaid funds to be used in jails and prisons for mental health and drug treatment. More details will be announced by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this spring.
This announcement may fuel the biggest change in correctional health care in decades, says Deborah Ross, CEO of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. “Medication for opioid use disorders (MOUD) in correctional facilities improves medical and mental health outcomes and reduces relapses, recidivism, and overdose deaths. NCCHC strongly supports the provision of MOUD in prisons and jails and is delighted that new funding will be available.”
NCCHC’s position statement, “Opioid Use Disorder Treatment in Correctional Settings,” released in 2021, recommends that jails and prisons establish MOUD programs that involve universal screening, offer MOUD treatment, and ensure continuity of care upon release. The position statement also recognizes the need for concurrent mental health treatment and psychosocial counseling.
NCCHC offers multiple resources for correctional facilities investigating expansion into MOUD:
- NCCHC Resources, NCCHC’s nonprofit consulting arm, can help facilities investigate and implement new MOUD programs or help existing programs be more effective
- NCCHC’s Standards for Opioid Treatment Programs in Correctional Facilities are based on federal regulations while also addressing the special nature of care provided in correctional facilities
- NCCHC accreditation for Opioid Treatment Programs helps assure that the opioid treatment programs in facilities are meeting national standards.
- Jail-Based Medication-Assisted Treatment: Promising Practices, Guidelines, and Resources (2018, NCCHC and National Sheriffs’ Association)
- From the General Public to American Jails: MAT Saves Lives (2021, NCCHC Foundation and Indivior)
For more information, contact [email protected]