US to Allow Medicaid to Pay for Drug Treatment in Prisons - National Commission on Correctional Health Care
opioidsMar 8, 2023

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:

For more information, contact [email protected]

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