MDHHS to conduct substance abuse disorder treatment needs, provider capacity assessment with $3.4 million CMS grant


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – A $3.4 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) will allow the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to conduct a needs assessment of substance abuse disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery provider capacity for the state’s Medicaid program.

Michigan has been significantly impacted by the nation's opioid epidemic, experiencing an opioid overdose death rate of 21.2 deaths per 100,000 residents, nearly 1.5 times greater than the national rate of 14.9 deaths per 100,000 residents. In addition, serious gaps exist in access to SUD care, including medication-assisted treatment. A recent study found that only 20 percent of Michiganders with an SUD diagnosis received treatment.

The needs assessment will help determine current use of and need for SUD services, where additional SUD services are needed in the state, how many additional providers are required to address the need, and strategies to increase the number of patients current providers can serve.

“The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the capacity of Michigan’s Medicaid providers to deliver substance use disorder treatment and recovery services to our state’s residents,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS. “This will further our state’s proactive response to the opioid crisis that focuses on prevention, treatment and recovery.”

Michigan was one of 15 states to receive the CMS grant funding. MDHHS is partnering with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI) to conduct the needs assessment.

“Our team looks forward to working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to understand the state’s current capacity for substance use disorder treatment as well as opportunities to improve access to and quality of care throughout the state,” said Dr. Kara Zivin, professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan and principal investigator for Michigan’s grant award under the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act.

Specific activities that will occur during the 18-month grant period, September 2019 – March 2021, include:

  • Determining Medicaid beneficiary demand for SUD/OUD treatment and recovery services in Michigan.
  • Creating an inventory of current Medicaid SUD treatment and recovery capacity. This will include payment methodologies, reimbursement rates, administrative requirements and limitations on capacity by region, Medicaid delivery system and specific services and provider types.
  • Performing a gap analysis to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement, including specific Medicaid subpopulations.
  • Researching strategies to increase SUD/OUD provider capacity, including those related to payment, administrative issues and programs relative to recruitment and retention.
  • Conducting provider surveys to determine provider willingness and barriers to providing SUD treatment and recovery services in addition to assessing the level of coordination between SUD treatment and recovery services and other aspects of healthcare.
  • Making policy recommendations to increase SUD treatment and recovery capacity and greater access to these services.

At the end of the 18 months, CMS will select at least five states to implement proposed policy changes reflecting the needs assessment. This will include an increased federal match for Medicaid SUD treatment and recovery services.

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