The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law on March 11, 2021 as a signature effort to assist in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic downturn. Included as part of the sweeping legislation is a program to fully subsidize COBRA coverage for six months starting in April of 2021. This expert perspective provides a short overview of COBRA and mini-COBRA, the major elements of the ARPA COBRA Assistance program, and considerations for state policymakers related to the program.
Implementing the ASAM Criteria for SUD Treatment through Medicaid Managed Care
Rachel Isaacson, Ellie Shea-Delaney and Beth Waldman, Bailit Health
As the opioid epidemic continues, Medicaid programs across the country are increasingly taking on more responsibility to provide beneficiaries with substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, including inpatient treatment. One strategy states are using is applying for an SUD Section 1115 Demonstration waiver (SUD waiver) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand Medicaid-funded treatment options. Some states with approved SUD waivers have formally implemented the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria to promote consistency in client placement for SUD treatment.
The ASAM Criteria is a clinically driven multidimensional client assessment model that emphasizes treatment outcomes, client-specific lengths of service, and a team-based approach to care. This issue brief draws from the experiences of states that were among the first to implement their SUD waivers to profile how the ASAM Criteria is used within the context of managed care and utilization review, and the challenges and best practices associated with its use.