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November 16
DHMH Announces Significant Increase in Substance Abuse Treatment 

Department of Health & Mental Hygiene News Release

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Baltimore, MD (November 16, 2011) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene today submitted a report to lawmakers demonstrating a dramatic increase in the number of Marylanders receiving substance abuse treatment services through Medicaid in recent years, from 17,995 in Fiscal Year 2009, to a projected 38,695 in the current fiscal year.

“Expanding access to effective treatment for substance abuse is a top priority,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. “These provide an opportunity for many Marylanders suffering from addiction to regain control over their lives.”

The Maryland Medicaid Program’s HealthChoice, Primary Adult Care, and Fee-for-Service programs include substance abuse treatment as part of the benefit packages. The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration (ADAA) administers a state-funded grant-based program providing substance abuse treatment services.

In 2009, legislation passed by the General Assembly authorized an annual transfer of state funds from the ADAA grant program to the Medicaid program to expand the benefit package of the Primary Adult Care program to include outpatient substance abuse treatment. This transfer enabled Medicaid to draw-down federal matching funds and thereby expand the total funding in the system.

In 2010, the Department began an initiative to build upon the new funding made available through the transfer by increasing service reimbursement rates to Medicaid providers and improving the ability of enrollees to self-refer for services.

“Leveraging available federal funds and expanding access increases our capacity to serve Marylanders in need of substance abuse treatment services,” said Chuck Milligan, Deputy Secretary for Health Care Financing.

It is projected that in FY 2012, Medicaid and ADAA will provide a combined total of $142.8 million in substance abuse treatment funding. From FY 2009 to FY 2012, the projected net increase in substance abuse treatment funding in the state is expected to be more than $26 million. All 24 Maryland counties experienced increases in the number of Medicaid enrollees served from FY 2009 to FY 2012.

“This initiative has helped more Marylanders have access to the substance abuse treatment services they need, allowing us to continue to address one of our priorities,” said Renata J. Henry, Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Disabilities. “The local health departments have been critical partners in this effort.”

The full report can be found at http://dhmh.maryland.gov/pdf/dhmh/Substance_Abuse_JCR_Final.pdf.

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