As states are working diligently to operationalize the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement, State Health and Value Strategies has been tracking the creative strategies states are implementing to minimize coverage losses. This expert perspective highlights all the hard work states are engaged in and spotlights innovative strategies other states may want to consider adopting. SHVS will continue to track and share state efforts to support coverage through the unwinding period. If your state is implementing a new effort to reach enrollees, or if you have questions about how you can implement an example included in this EP, please be in touch.
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.