Sunday, October 05, 2008

Notice: Medicaid Medicare New Rule Put on Hold

October 3, 2008

NAMA has been working behind the scenes with provider organizations regarding a New Rule proposed by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare that would set low limits for both Medicaid and Medicare. But the greatest impact it would have had would be to stop all Medicaid funding for methadone treatment.

It was worded in a way that if Medicare did not cover a service then Medicaid would also have to eliminate that service. It not only impacted methadone treatment but many other services that are not provided within a hosptial, such as: dialysis, women's services, HIV services, disabled children and mental health. Since the majority of programs are not hospital based and Medicaid funding would be ended.

The Center for Medicaid and Medicare also proposed 6 other rules that have also been put on hold until April 2009.

Here are some documents you can read about the rule.

Upper Payment Limit Federal Register
CMS Upper Payment Limit Rule-Coalition Response
Comment on Outpatient Hospital

Victory for Addiction Equity: Wellstone-Domenici Bill Passed by Congress and Signed by President Today

After twelve years frustrating hard work determined advocacy has finally produced the victory. Today Congress passed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 - comprehensive mental health and addiction parity legislation in honor of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. The bill was included in financial bailout package passed by the Senate on Monday and the House today. It now moves to the President's desk.

The parity bill does not require health-insurance plans to cover addiction or mental health, but insurers will now be barred from imposing any caps or limits on behavioral healthcare service that are not applied to other health conditions. Most insurance plans do include behavioral-healthcare coverage, and advocates say that past experience shows that passage of state-level parity laws has not led to insurers dropping such coverage.

We are still only half way there but that is better than not being there at all.  The bill will start to pave the way so that all Americans can receive help for their addiction.

NAMA salutes Faces & Voices for their strong support of this bill and medication assisted treatment.